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Title: Geronimo's Story of His Life

Author: Geronimo

Editor: Stephen Melvil Barrett

Release Date: February 18, 2010 [EBook #31318]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Free Elf, Martin Pettit and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
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Story of His Life

_Taken Down and Edited by_


_Superintendent of Education, Lawton, Oklahoma_




[Illustration: GERONIMO]

Copyright, 1905, by S. M. BARRETT

Copyright, 1906, by DUFFIELD & COMPANY

_Published September, 1906_


Because he has given me permission to tell my story; because he has read
that story and knows I try to speak the truth; because I believe that he
is fair-minded and will cause my people to receive justice in the
future; and because he is chief of a great people, I dedicate this story
of my life to Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States.



The initial idea of the compilation of this work was to give the reading
public an authentic record of the private life of the Apache Indians,
and to extend to Geronimo as a prisoner of war the courtesy due any
captive, _i. e._, the right to state the causes which impelled him in
his opposition to our civilization and laws.

If the Indians' cause has been properly presented, the captives' defense
clearly stated, and the general store of information regarding vanishing
types increased, I shall be satisfied.

I desire to acknowledge valuable suggestions from Maj. Charles Taylor,
Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Dr. J. M. Greenwood, Kansas City, Missouri, and
President David R. Boyd, of the University of Oklahoma.

I especially desire in this connection to say that without the kindly
advice and assistance of President Theodore Roosevelt this book could
not have been written.

_August 14, 1906_.

[Illustration: HOW THE BOOK WAS MADE]


CHAPTER                                        PAGE

INTRODUCTORY                                     xi


_The Apaches_

    I. ORIGIN OF THE APACHE INDIANS               3


  III. EARLY LIFE                                17


    V. THE FAMILY                                35


_The Mexicans_

   VI. KAS-KI-YEH                                43



   IX. VARYING FORTUNES                          79

    X. OTHER RAIDS                               86

   XI. HEAVY FIGHTING                            98



_The White Men_

XIII. COMING OF THE WHITE MEN                   113

  XIV. GREATEST OF WRONGS                       116

   XV. REMOVALS                                 126


 XVII. THE FINAL STRUGGLE                       139

XVIII. SURRENDER OF GERONIMO                    148

  XIX. A PRISONER OF WAR                        177


_The Old and the New_


  XXI. AT THE WORLD'S FAIR                      197

 XXII. RELIGION                                 207

XXIII. HOPES FOR THE FUTURE                     213


Geronimo                             _Frontispiece_

How the book was made              _Facing page_ vi

Dressed as in days of old                         8

Naiche (Natches), son of Cochise, hereditary
chief of the Chiricahua Apaches.
Naiche was Geronimo's lieutenant during
the protracted wars in Arizona                   14

Last of the Bedonkohe Apache Tribe, Tuklonnen,
Ndeste, Nah-ta-neal, Porico (White Horse)       18

Work stock in Apache corral                      22

The conquered weapon                             30

Apache princess, daughter of Naiche, chief
of the Chiricahua Apaches                        38

Geronimo, Chihuahua, Nanne, Loco, Ozone          46

Naiche, his mother, his two wives and his
children                                         50

Asa Deklugie, wife and children                  66

Apache scouts--Naiche, Goody, John Loco,
Porico, Jasen, Asa Deklugie, Kelburn,
Sam, Hugh, Captain Seyers                        70

Three Apache chieftains--Naiche, son of
Coche; Asa, son of Whoa; Charley, son of
Victoria                                         80

Apache camp                                      86

Apache mission--Valley of Medicine Creek,
Fort Sill Military Reservation                   96

Asa Deklugie (official interpreter for Geronimo,
son of Whoa, chief of the Nedni
Apaches, chief elect to succeed Geronimo
at the latter's death)                          100

Geronimo, Apache war chief                      100

Lone Wolfe, chief of Kiowas

Geronimo, Apache war chief                      108

Quanna Parker, chief of Comanche Indians        118

Gotebo, war chief, Kiowa Indians                144

Kaytah and Nahteen, Apache scouts who
were with General Lawton                        152

Emma Tuklonen                                   162

W. F. Melton, at whose camp in Skeleton
Caon Geronimo surrendered                      172

Chihuahua and family                            190

Mrs. Asa Deklugie, niece of Geronimo and
daughter of Chihuahua, a famous Apache
chieftain                                       200

Eva Geronimo, Geronimo's youngest daughter,
16 years old                                    200

Ready for church                                210


I first met Geronimo in the summer of 1904, when I acted for him as
interpreter of English into Spanish, and vice versa, in selling a war
bonnet. After that he always had a pleasant word for me when we met, but
never entered into a general conversation with me until he learned that
I had once been wounded by a Mexican. As soon as he was told of this, he
came to see me and expressed freely his opinion of the average Mexican,
and his aversion to all Mexicans in general.

I invited him to visit me again, which he did, and upon his invitation,
I visited him at his tepee in the Fort Sill Military reservation.

In the summer of 1905 Dr. J. M. Greenwood, superintendent of schools at
Kansas City, Missouri, visited me, and I took him to see the chief.
Geronimo was quite formal and reserved until Dr. Greenwood said, "I am a
friend of General Howard, whom I have heard speak of you." "Come," said
Geronimo, and led the way to a shade, had seats brought for us, put on
his war bonnet, and served watermelon _ l'Apache_ (cut in big chunks),
while he talked freely and cheerfully. When we left he gave us a
pressing invitation to visit him again.

In a few days the old chief came to see me and asked about "my father."
I said "you mean the old gentleman from Kansas City--he has returned to
his home." "He is you father?" said Geronimo. "No," I said, "my father
died twenty-five years ago, Dr. Greenwood is only my friend." After a
moment's silence the old Indian spoke again, this time in a tone of
voice intended to carry conviction, or at least to allow no further
discussion. "Your natural father is dead, this man has been your friend
and adviser from youth. By adoption _he is your father_. Tell him he is
welcome to come to my home at any time." It was of no use to explain any
more, for the old man had determined not to understand my relation to
Dr. Greenwood except in accordance with Indian customs, and I let the
matter drop.

In the latter part of that summer I asked the old chief to allow me to
publish some of the things he had told me, but he objected, saying,
however, that if I would pay him, and if the officers in charge did not
object, he would tell me the whole story of his life. I immediately
called at the fort (Fort Sill) and asked the officer in charge,
Lieutenant Purington, for permission to write the life of Geronimo. I
was promptly informed that the privilege would not be granted.
Lieutenant Purington explained to me the many depredations committed by
Geronimo and his warriors, and the enormous cost of subduing the
Apaches, adding that the old Apache deserved to be hanged rather than
spoiled by so much attention from civilians. A suggestion from me that
our government had paid many soldiers and officers to go to Arizona and
kill Geronimo and the Apaches, and that they did not seem to know how to
do it, did not prove very gratifying to the pride of the regular army
officer, and I decided to seek elsewhere for permission. Accordingly I
wrote to President Roosevelt that here was an old Indian who had been
held a prisoner of war for twenty years and had never been given a
chance to tell his side of the story, and asked that Geronimo be granted
permission to tell for publication, in his own way, the story of his
life, and that he be guaranteed that the publication of his story would
not affect unfavorably the Apache prisoners of war. By return mail I
received word that the authority had been granted. In a few days I
received word from Fort Sill that the President had ordered the officer
in charge to grant permission as requested. An interview was requested
that I might receive the instructions of the War Department. When I went
to Fort Sill the officer in command handed me the following brief, which
constituted my instructions:

LAWTON, OKLAHOMA, Aug. 12th, 1905.
_Geronimo,--Apache Chief--_
S. M. BARRETT, _Supt. Schools_.

     Letter to the President stating that above-mentioned desires to
     tell his life story that it may be published, and requests
     permission to tell it in his own way, and also desires assurance
     that what he has to say will in no way work a hardship for the
     Apache tribe.

       *       *       *       *       *

_1st Endorsement._

WASHINGTON, August 25th, 1905.

     Respectfully referred, by direction of the Acting Chief of Staff,
     through headquarters, Department of Texas, to the Officer In
     Charge of the Apache prisoners of war at Fort Sill, Oklahoma
     Territory, for remark and recommendation.

(Signed) E. F. LADD,
Military Secretary.

       *       *       *       *       *

_2d Endorsement._

SAN ANTONIO, August 29th, 1905.

     Respectfully transmitted to 1st Lieut. George A. Purington, 8th
     Cavalry, In Charge of Apache prisoners. (Thro' Commanding Officer,
     Fort Sill, O. T.)

     By Command of Brigadier General Lee.

(Signed) C. D. ROBERTS,
Captain, 7th Infantry,
Acting Military Secretary.

       *       *       *       *       *

_3d Endorsement._

FORT SILL, O. T., Aug. 31st, 1905.

     Respectfully referred to 1st Lieut. G. A. Purington, 8th Cavalry,
     Officer in Charge of Apache prisoners of war, for remark and

     By Order of Captain Dade.

1st. Lieut & Sqdn. Adjt., 13th Cavalry. Adjutant.

       *       *       *       *       *

_4th Endorsement._

FORT SILL, O. T., Sept. 2d, 1905.

     Respectfully returned to the Adjutant, Fort Sill, O. T. I can see
     no objection to Geronimo telling the story of his past life,
     providing he tells the truth. I would recommend that Mr. S. M.
     Barrett be held responsible for what is written and published.

1st. Lieut. 8th Cavalry,
In Charge of Apache prisoners of war.

       *       *       *       *       *

_5th Endorsement._

FORT SILL, O. T., Sept. 4th, 1905.

     Respectfully returned to the Military Secretary, Dept. of Texas,
     San Antonio, Texas, inviting attention to 4th endorsement hereon.
     It is recommended that the manuscript be submitted before
     publication to Lieut. Purington, who can pass upon the truth of the

(Signed) A. L. DADE,
Captain, 13th Cavalry, Commanding.

       *       *       *       *       *

_6th Endorsement._

SAN ANTONIO, September 8th, 1905.

     Respectfully returned to the Military Secretary, War Department,
     Washington, D. C., inviting attention to the preceding endorsement
     hereon, which is concurred in.

(Signed) J. M. LEE,
Brigadier General, Commanding.

       *       *       *       *       *

_7th Endorsement._

WASHINGTON, September 13th, 1905.

     Respectfully submitted to the Honorable the Secretary of War,
     inviting attention to the foregoing endorsements.

(Signed) J. C. BATES,
Major General, Acting Chief of Staff.

       *       *       *       *       *

_8th Endorsement._

September 15th, 1905.

     Respectfully returned to the Acting Chief of Staff to grant the
     necessary authority in this matter, through official channels, with
     the express understanding that the manuscript of the book shall be
     submitted to him before publication. Upon receipt of such
     manuscript the Chief of Staff will submit it to such person as he
     may select as competent to make a proper and critical inspection
     of the proposed publication.

Acting Secretary of War.

       *       *       *       *       *

_9th Endorsement._

WASHINGTON, September 18th, 1905.

     Respectfully returned, by direction of the Acting Chief of Staff,
     to the Commanding General, Dept. of Texas, who will give the
     necessary instructions for carrying out the directions of the
     Acting Secretary of War, contained in the 8th endorsement. It is
     desired that Mr. Barrett be advised accordingly.

Military Secretary.

       *       *       *       *       *

_10th Endorsement._

SAN ANTONIO, September 23, 1905.

     Respectfully referred to the Commanding Officer, Fort Sill,
     Oklahoma Territory, who will give the necessary instructions for
     carrying out the direction of the Acting Secretary of War contained
     in the 8th endorsement hereon.

     This paper will be shown and fully explained to Mr. Barrett, and
     then returned to these headquarters.

     By order of Colonel Hughes.

1st. Lieut. 1st Cavalry, Aide-de-Camp,
Acting Military Secretary.

Early in October I secured the services of an educated Indian, Asa
Deklugie, son of Whoa, chief of the Nedni Apaches, as interpreter, and
the work of compiling the book began.

Geronimo refused to talk when a stenographer was present, or to wait for
corrections or questions when telling the story. Each day he had in mind
what he would tell and told it in a very clear, brief manner. He might
prefer to talk at his own tepee, at Asa Deklugie's house, in some
mountain dell, or as he rode in a swinging gallop across the prairie;
wherever his fancy led him, there he told whatever he wished to tell and
no more. On the day that he first gave any portion of his autobiography
he would not be questioned about any details, nor would he add another
word, but simply said, "Write what I have spoken," and left us to
remember and write the story without one bit of assistance. He would
agree, however, to come on another day to my study, or any place
designated by me, and listen to the reproduction (in Apache) of what had
been told, and at such times would answer all questions or add
information wherever he could be convinced that it was necessary.

He soon became so tired of book making that he would have abandoned the
task but for the fact that he had agreed to tell the complete story.
When he once gives his word, nothing will turn him from fulfilling his
promise. A very striking illustration of this was furnished by him early
in January, 1906. He had agreed to come to my study on a certain date,
but at the appointed hour the interpreter came alone, and said that
Geronimo was very sick with cold and fever. He had come to tell me that
we must appoint another date, as he feared the old warrior had an
attack of pneumonia. It was a cold day and the interpreter drew a chair
up to the grate to warm himself after the exposure of the long ride.
Just as he was seating himself he looked out of the window, then rose
quickly, and without speaking pointed to a rapidly moving object coming
our way. In a moment I recognized the old chief riding furiously
(evidently trying to arrive as soon as the interpreter did), his horse
flecked with foam and reeling from exhaustion. Dismounting he came in
and said in a hoarse whisper, "I promised to come. I am here."

I explained to him that I had not expected him to come on such a stormy
day, and that in his physical condition he must not try to work. He
stood for some time, and then without speaking left the room, remounted
his tired pony, and with bowed head faced ten long miles of cold north
wind--he had kept his promise.

When he had finished his story I submitted the manuscript to Major
Charles W. Taylor, Eighteenth Cavalry, commandant, Fort Sill, Oklahoma,
who gave me some valuable suggestions as to additional related
information which I asked Geronimo to give. In most cases the old chief
gave the desired information, but in some instances he refused, stating
his reasons for so doing.

When the added information had been incorporated I submitted the
manuscript to President Roosevelt, from whose letter I quote: "This is a
very interesting volume which you have in manuscript, but I would advise
that you disclaim responsibility in all cases where the reputation of an
individual is assailed."

In accordance with that suggestion, I have appended notes throughout the
book disclaiming responsibility for adverse criticisms of any persons
mentioned by Geronimo.

On June 2d, 1906, I transmitted the complete manuscript to the War
Department. The following quotation is from the letter of transmission:

     "In accordance with endorsement number eight of the 'Brief'
     submitted to me by the commanding officer of Fort Sill, which
     endorsement constituted the instructions of the Department, I
     submit herewith manuscript of the Autobiography of Geronimo.

     "The manuscript has been submitted to the President, and at his
     suggestion I have disclaimed any responsibility for the criticisms
     (made by Geronimo) of individuals mentioned."

Six weeks after the manuscript was forwarded, Thomas C. Barry, Brigadier
General, Assistant to the Chief of Staff, sent to the President the


     "Subject: Manuscript of the Autobiography of Geronimo. The paper
     herewith, which was referred to this office on July 6th, with
     instructions to report as to whether there is anything
     objectionable in it, is returned.

     "The manuscript is an interesting autobiography of a notable
     Indian, made by himself. There are a number of passages which,
     from the departmental point of view, are decidedly objectionable.
     These are found on pages 73, 74, 90, 91, and 97, and are indicated
     by marginal lines in red. The entire manuscript appears in a way
     important as showing the Indian side of a prolonged controversy,
     but it is believed that the document, either in whole or in part,
     should not receive the approval of the War Department."

The memorandum is published that the objections of the War Department
may be made known to the public.

The objection is raised to the mention on pages seventy-three and
seventy-four of the manuscript of an attack upon Indians in a tent at
Apache Pass or Bowie, by U. S. soldiers. The statement of Geronimo is,
however, substantially confirmed by L. C. Hughes, editor of _The Star_,
Tucson, Arizona.

On pages ninety and ninety-one of the manuscript, Geronimo criticised
General Crook. This criticism is simply Geronimo's private opinion of
General Crook. We deem it a personal matter and leave it without
comment, as it in no way concerns the history of the Apaches.

On page ninety-seven of the manuscript Geronimo accuses General Miles of
bad faith. Of course, General Miles made the treaty with the Apaches,
but we know very well that he is not responsible for the way the
Government subsequently treated the prisoners of war. However, Geronimo
cannot understand this and fixes upon General Miles the blame for what
he calls unjust treatment.

One could not expect the Department of War to approve adverse criticisms
of its own acts, but it is especially gratifying that such a liberal
view has been taken of these criticisms, and also that such a frank
statement of the merits of the Autobiography is submitted in the
memorandum. Of course neither the President nor the War Department is in
any way responsible for what Geronimo says; he has simply been granted
the opportunity to state his own case as he sees it.

The fact that Geronimo has told the story in his own way is doubtless
the only excuse necessary to offer for the many unconventional features
of this work.






In the beginning the world was covered with darkness. There was no sun,
no day. The perpetual night had no moon or stars.

There were, however, all manner of beasts and birds. Among the beasts
were many hideous, nameless monsters, as well as dragons, lions, tigers,
wolves, foxes, beavers, rabbits, squirrels, rats, mice, and all manner
of creeping things such as lizards and serpents. Mankind could not
prosper under such conditions, for the beasts and serpents destroyed all
human offspring.

All creatures had the power of speech and were gifted with reason.

There were two tribes of creatures: the birds or the feathered tribe and
the beasts. The former were organized under their chief, the eagle.

These tribes often held councils, and the birds wanted light admitted.
This the beasts repeatedly refused to do. Finally the birds made war
against the beasts.

The beasts were armed with clubs, but the eagle had taught his tribe to
use bows and arrows. The serpents were so wise that they could not all
be killed. One took refuge in a perpendicular cliff of a mountain in
Arizona, and his eye (changed into a brilliant stone) may be seen in
that rock to this day. The bears, when killed, would each be changed
into several other bears, so that the more bears the feathered tribe
killed, the more there were. The dragon could not be killed, either, for
he was covered with four coats of horny scales, and the arrows would not
penetrate these. One of the most hideous, vile monsters (nameless) was
proof against arrows, so the eagle flew high up in the air with a round,
white stone, and let it fall on this monster's head, killing him
instantly. This was such a good service that the stone was called
sacred. (A symbol of this stone is used in the tribal game of Kah.[1])
They fought for many days, but at last the birds won the victory.

After this war was over, although some evil beasts remained, the birds
were able to control the councils, and light was admitted. Then mankind
could live and prosper. The eagle was chief in this good fight:
therefore, his feathers were worn by man as emblems of wisdom, justice,
and power.

Among the few human beings that were yet alive was a woman who had been
blessed with many children, but these had always been destroyed by the
beasts. If by any means she succeeded in eluding the others, the dragon,
who was very wise and very evil, would come himself and eat her babes.

After many years a son of the rainstorm was born to her and she dug for
him a deep cave. The entrance to this cave she closed and over the spot
built a camp fire. This concealed the babe's hiding place and kept him
warm. Every day she would remove the fire and descend into the cave,
where the child's bed was, to nurse him; then she would return and
rebuild the camp fire.

Frequently the dragon would come and question her, but she would say, "I
have no more children; you have eaten all of them."

When the child was larger he would not always stay in the cave, for he
sometimes wanted to run and play. Once the dragon saw his tracks. Now
this perplexed and enraged the old dragon, for he could not find the
hiding place of the boy; but he said that he would destroy the mother if
she did not reveal the child's hiding place. The poor mother was very
much troubled; she could not give up her child, but she knew the power
and cunning of the dragon, therefore she lived in constant fear.

Soon after this the boy said that he wished to go hunting. The mother
would not give her consent. She told him of the dragon, the wolves, and
the serpents; but he said, "To-morrow I go."

At the boy's request his uncle (who was the only man then living) made a
little bow and some arrows for him, and the two went hunting the next
day. They trailed the deer far up the mountain and finally the boy
killed a buck. His uncle showed him how to dress the deer and broil the
meat. They broiled two hind quarters, one for the child and one for his
uncle. When the meat was done they placed it on some bushes to cool.
Just then the huge form of the dragon appeared. The child was not
afraid, but his uncle was so dumb with fright that he did not speak or

The dragon took the boy's parcel of meat and went aside with it. He
placed the meat on another bush and seated himself beside it. Then he
said, "This is the child I have been seeking. Boy, you are nice and
fat, so when I have eaten this venison I shall eat you." The boy said,
"No, you shall not eat me, and you shall not eat that meat." So he
walked over to where the dragon sat and took the meat back to his own
seat. The dragon said, "I like your courage, but you are foolish; what
do you think you could do?" "Well," said the boy, "I can do enough to
protect myself, as you may find out." Then the dragon took the meat
again, and then the boy retook it. Four times in all the dragon took the
meat, and after the fourth time the boy replaced the meat he said,
"Dragon, will you fight me?" The dragon said, "Yes, in whatever way you
like." The boy said, "I will stand one hundred paces distant from you
and you may have four shots at me with your bow and arrows, provided
that you will then exchange places with me and give me four shots."
"Good," said the dragon. "Stand up."


Then the dragon took his bow, which was made of a large pine tree. He
took four arrows from his quiver; they were made of young pine tree
saplings, and each arrow was twenty feet in length. He took deliberate
aim, but just as the arrow left the bow the boy made a peculiar sound
and leaped into the air. Immediately the arrow was shivered into a
thousand splinters, and the boy was seen standing on the top of a bright
rainbow over the spot where the dragon's aim had been directed. Soon the
rainbow was gone and the boy was standing on the ground again. Four
times this was repeated, then the boy said, "Dragon, stand here; it is
my time to shoot." The dragon said, "All right; your little arrows
cannot pierce my first coat of horn, and I have three other coats--shoot
away." The boy shot an arrow, striking the dragon just over the heart,
and one coat of the great horny scales fell to the ground. The next shot
another coat, and then another, and the dragon's heart was exposed.
Then the dragon trembled, but could not move. Before the fourth arrow
was shot the boy said, "Uncle, you are dumb with fear; you have not
moved; come here or the dragon will fall on you." His uncle ran toward
him. Then he sped the fourth arrow with true aim, and it pierced the
dragon's heart. With a tremendous roar the dragon rolled down the
mountain side--down four precipices into a caon below.

Immediately storm clouds swept the mountains, lightning flashed, thunder
rolled, and the rain poured. When the rainstorm had passed, far down in
the caon below, they could see fragments of the huge body of the dragon
lying among the rocks, and the bones of this dragon may still be found

This boy's name was Apache. Usen[2] taught him how to prepare herbs for
medicine, how to hunt, and how to fight. He was the first chief of the
Indians and wore the eagle's feathers as the sign of justice, wisdom,
and power. To him, and to his people, as they were created, Usen gave
homes in the land of the west.


[1] See Chapter IV.

[2] Usen is the Apache word for God. It is used here because it implies
the attributes of deity that are held in their primitive religion.
"Apache" means "Enemy."



The Apache Indians are divided into six sub-tribes. To one of these, the
Be-don-ko-he, I belong.

Our tribe inhabited that region of mountainous country which lies west
from the east line of Arizona, and south from the headwaters of the Gila

East of us lived the Chi-hen-ne (Ojo Caliente), (Hot Springs) Apaches.
Our tribe never had any difficulty with them. Victoria, their chief, was
always a friend to me. He always helped our tribe when we asked him for
help. He lost his life in the defense of the rights of his people. He
was a good man and a brave warrior. His son Charlie now lives here in
this reservation with us.

North of us lived the White Mountain Apaches. They were not always on
the best of terms with our tribe, yet we seldom had any war with them. I
knew their chief, Hash-ka-ai-la, personally, and I considered him a good
warrior. Their range was next to that of the Navajo Indians, who were
not of the same blood as the Apaches. We held councils with all Apache
tribes, but never with the Navajo Indians. However, we traded with them
and sometimes visited them.

To the west of our country ranged the Chi-e-a-hen Apaches. They had two
chiefs within my time, Co-si-to and Co-da-hoo-yah. They were friendly,
but not intimate with our tribe.

South of us lived the Cho-kon-en (Chiricahua) Apaches, whose chief in
the old days was Co-chise, and later his son, Naiche. This tribe was
always on the most friendly terms with us. We were often in camp and on
the trail together. Naiche, who was my companion in arms, is now my
companion in bondage.

To the south and west of us lived the Ned-ni Apaches. Their chief was
Whoa, called by the Mexicans Capitan Whoa. They were our firm friends.
The land of this tribe lies partly in Old Mexico and partly in
Arizona.[3] Whoa and I often camped and fought side by side as brothers.
My enemies were his enemies, my friends his friends. He is dead now, but
his son Asa is interpreting this story for me.

Still the four tribes (Bedonkohe, Chokonen, Chihenne, and Nedni), who
were fast friends in the days of freedom, cling together as they
decrease in number. Only the destruction of all our people would
dissolve our bonds of friendship.

[Illustration: NAICHE (Natches), son of Cohise. Hereditary chief of the
Chiricahua Apaches. Naiche was Geronimo's lieutenant during the
protracted wars in Arizona.]

We are vanishing from the earth, yet I cannot think we are useless or
Usen would not have created us. He created all tribes of men and
certainly had a righteous purpose in creating each.

For each tribe of men Usen created He also made a home. In the land
created for any particular tribe He placed whatever would be best for
the welfare of that tribe.

When Usen created the Apaches He also created their homes in the West.
He gave to them such grain, fruits, and game as they needed to eat. To
restore their health when disease attacked them He made many different
herbs to grow. He taught them where to find these herbs, and how to
prepare them for medicine. He gave them a pleasant climate and all they
needed for clothing and shelter was at hand.

Thus it was in the beginning: the Apaches and their homes each created
for the other by Usen himself. When they are taken from these homes
they sicken and die. How long[4] will it be until it is said, there are
no Apaches?


[3] The boundary lines established at different times between Mexico and
the United States did not conform to the boundary lines of these Apache
tribes, of course, and the Indians soon saw and took advantage of the
international questions arising from the conflicting interests of the
two governments.

[4] The Apache Indians held prisoners of war are greatly decreasing in
numbers. There seems to be no particular cause, but nevertheless their
numbers grow smaller.



I was born in No-doyohn Caon, Arizona, June, 1829.

In that country which lies around the headwaters of the Gila River I was
reared. This range was our fatherland; among these mountains our wigwams
were hidden; the scattered valleys contained our fields; the boundless
prairies, stretching away on every side, were our pastures; the rocky
caverns were our burying places.

I was fourth[5] in a family of eight children--four boys and four
girls. Of that family, only myself, my brother, Porico (White Horse),
and my sister, Nah-da-ste, are yet alive. We are held as prisoners of
war in this Military Reservation (Fort Sill).

As a babe I rolled on the dirt floor of my father's tepee, hung in my
tsoch (Apache name for cradle) at my mother's back, or suspended from
the bough of a tree. I was warmed by the sun, rocked by the winds, and
sheltered by the trees as other Indian babes.

When a child my mother taught me the legends of our people; taught me of
the sun and sky,' the moon and stars, the clouds and storms. She also
taught me to kneel and pray to Usen for strength, health, wisdom, and
protection. We never prayed against any person, but if we had aught
against any individual we ourselves took vengeance. We were taught that
Usen does not care for the petty quarrels of men.



My father had often told me of the brave deeds of our warriors, of the
pleasures of the chase, and the glories of the warpath.

With my brothers and sisters I played about my father's home. Sometimes
we played at hide-and-seek among the rocks and pines; sometimes we
loitered in the shade of the cottonwood trees or sought the shudock (a
kind of wild cherry) while our parents worked in the field. Sometimes we
played that we were warriors. We would practice stealing upon some
object that represented an enemy, and in our childish imitation often
perform the feats of war. Sometimes we would hide away from our mother
to see if she could find us, and often when thus concealed go to sleep
and perhaps remain hidden for many hours.

When we were old enough to be of real service we went to the field with
our parents: not to play, but to toil. When the crops were to be planted
we broke the ground with wooden hoes. We planted the corn in straight
rows, the beans among the corn, and the melons and pumpkins in irregular
order over the field. We cultivated these crops as there was need.

Our field usually contained about two acres of ground. The fields were
never fenced. It was common for many families to cultivate land in the
same valley and share the burden of protecting the growing crops from
destruction by the ponies of the tribe, or by deer and other wild

Melons were gathered as they were consumed. In the autumn pumpkins and
beans were gathered and placed in bags or baskets; ears of corn were
tied together by the husks, and then the harvest was carried on the
backs of ponies up to our homes. Here the corn was shelled, and all the
harvest stored away in caves or other secluded places to be used in

We never fed corn to our ponies, but if we kept them up in the winter
time we gave them fodder to eat. We had no cattle or other domestic
animals except our dogs and ponies.

We did not cultivate tobacco, but found it growing wild. This we cut and
cured in autumn, but if the supply ran out the leaves from the stalks
left standing served our purpose. All Indians smoked[6]--men and women.
No boy was allowed to smoke until he had hunted alone and killed large
game--wolves and bears. Unmarried women were not prohibited from
smoking, but were considered immodest if they did so. Nearly all matrons

Besides grinding the corn (by hand with stone mortars and pestles) for
bread, we sometimes crushed it and soaked it, and after it had fermented
made from this juice a "tis-win," which had the power of intoxication,
and was very highly prized by the Indians. This work was done by the
squaws and children. When berries or nuts were to be gathered the small
children and the squaws would go in parties to hunt them, and sometimes
stay all day. When they went any great distance from camp they took
ponies to carry the baskets.

I frequently went with these parties, and upon one of these excursions a
woman named Cho-ko-le got lost from the party and was riding her pony
through a thicket in search of her friends. Her little dog was following
as she slowly made her way through the thick underbrush and pine trees.
All at once a grizzly bear rose in her path and attacked the pony. She
jumped off and her pony escaped, but the bear attacked her, so she
fought him the best she could with her knife. Her little dog, by
snapping at the bear's heels and detracting his attention from the
woman, enabled her for some time to keep pretty well out of his reach.
Finally the grizzly struck her over the head, tearing off almost her
whole scalp. She fell, but did not lose consciousness, and while
prostrate struck him four good licks with her knife, and he retreated.
After he had gone she replaced her torn scalp and bound it up as best
she could, then she turned deathly sick and had to lie down. That night
her pony came into camp with his load of nuts and berries, but no rider.
The Indians hunted for her, but did not find her until the second day.
They carried her home, and under the treatment of their medicine men all
her wounds were healed.


The Indians knew what herbs to use for medicine, how to prepare them,
and how to give the medicine. This they had been taught by Usen in the
beginning, and each succeeding generation had men who were skilled in
the art of healing.

In gathering the herbs, in preparing them, and in administering the
medicine, as much faith was held in prayer as in the actual effect of
the medicine. Usually about eight persons worked together in making
medicine, and there were forms of prayer and incantations to attend each
stage of the process. Four attended to the incantations and four to the
preparation of the herbs.

Some of the Indians were skilled in cutting out bullets, arrow heads,
and other missiles with which warriors were wounded. I myself have done
much of this, using a common dirk or butcher knife.[7]

Small children wore very little clothing in winter and none in the
summer. Women usually wore a primitive skirt, which consisted of a piece
of cotton cloth fastened about the waist, and extending to the knees.
Men wore breech cloths and moccasins. In winter they had shirts and
leggings in addition.

Frequently when the tribe was in camp a number of boys and girls, by
agreement, would steal away and meet at a place several miles distant,
where they could play all day free from tasks. They were never punished
for these frolics; but if their hiding places were discovered they were


[5] Four is a magic number with the Bedonkohe Apaches. The dragon had
four coats of scales; he took little Apache's meat four times; they (the
dragon and Apache) exchanged four shots--the dragon rolled down four
precipices. There are four moccasins used in the tribal game of Kah, and
only four plays that can be made. A boy must accompany the warriors four
times on the warpath before he can be admitted to the council.

Geronimo is the fourth of a family of four boys and four girls. He has
had four wives that were full-blood Bedonkohe Apaches, and four that
were part Bedonkohe Apache and part other Apache blood. Four of his
children have been killed by Mexicans and four have been held in bondage
by the U. S. Government. He firmly believes in destiny and in the magic
of the number four. Besides Geronimo, only four full-blood Bedonkohe
Apaches are now living. They are Porico (White Horse), Nah-da-ste,
Moh-ta-neal, and To-klon-nen.

[6] The Apaches did not smoke the peace pipe, unless it was proposed by
some other Indians. They had no large pipes; in fact, they usually
smoked cigarettes made by rolling the tobacco in wrappers of oak leaves.

[7] The only foundation for the statement, frequently made, that
Geronimo was a medicine man.



To celebrate each noted event a feast and dance would be given. Perhaps
only our own people, perhaps neighboring tribes would be invited. These
festivities usually lasted for about four days. By day we feasted, by
night under the direction of some chief we danced. The music for our
dance was singing led by the warriors, and accompanied by beating the
esadadedne (buckskin-on-a-hoop). No words were sung--only the tones.
When the feasting and dancing were over we would have horse races, foot
races, wrestling, jumping, and all sorts of games (gambling).

Among these games the most noted was the tribal game of Kah (foot). It
is played as follows: Four moccasins are placed about four feet apart
in holes in the ground, dug in a row on one side of the camp, and on the
opposite side a similar parallel row. At night a camp fire is started
between these two rows of moccasins, and the players are arranged on
sides, one or any number on each side. The score is kept by a bundle of
sticks, from which each side takes a stick for every point won. First
one side takes the bone (a symbol of the white rock used by the eagle in
slaying the nameless monster--see Chapter I), puts up blankets between
the four moccasins and the fire so that the opposing team cannot observe
their movements, and then begin to sing the legends of creation. The
side having the bone represents the feathered tribe, the opposite side
represents the beasts. The players representing the birds do all the
singing, and while singing hide the bone in one of the moccasins, then
the blankets are thrown down. They continue to sing, but as soon as the
blankets are thrown down the chosen player from the opposing team,
armed with a war club, comes to their side of the camp fire and with his
club strikes the moccasin in which he thinks the bone is hidden. If he
strikes the right moccasin, his side gets the bone, and in turn
represents the birds, while the opposing team must keep quiet and guess
in turn. There are only four plays; three that lose and one that wins.
When all the sticks are gone from the bundle the side having the largest
number of sticks is counted winner.

This game is seldom played except as a gambling game, but for that
purpose it is the most popular game known to the tribe. Usually the game
lasts four or five hours. It is never played in daytime.

After the games are all finished the visitors say, "We are satisfied,"
and the camp is broken up. I was always glad when the dances and feasts
were announced. So were all the other young people.

Our life also had a religious side. We had no churches, no religious
organizations, no sabbath day, no holidays, and yet we worshiped.
Sometimes the whole tribe would assemble to sing and pray; sometimes a
smaller number, perhaps only two or three. The songs had a few words,
but were not formal. The singer would occasionally put in such words as
he wished instead of the usual tone sound. Sometimes we prayed in
silence; sometimes each one prayed aloud; sometimes an aged person
prayed for all of us. At other times one would rise and speak to us of
our duties[8] to each other and to Usen. Our services were short.

When disease or pestilence abounded we were assembled and questioned by
our leaders to ascertain what evil we had done, and how Usen could be
satisfied. Sometimes sacrifice was deemed necessary. Sometimes the
offending one was punished.

If an Apache had allowed his aged parents to suffer for food or shelter,
if he had neglected or abused the sick, if he had profaned our religion,
or had been unfaithful, he might be banished from the tribe.

The Apaches had no prisons as white men have. Instead of sending their
criminals into prison they sent them out of their tribe. These
faithless, cruel, lazy, or cowardly members of the tribe were excluded
in such a manner that they could not join any other tribe. Neither could
they have any protection from our unwritten tribal laws. Frequently
these outlaw Indians banded together and committed depredations which
were charged against the regular tribe. However, the life of an outlaw
Indian was a hard lot, and their bands never became very large; besides,
these bands frequently provoked the wrath of the tribe and secured their
own destruction.


When I was about eight or ten years old I began to follow the chase,
and to me this was never work.

Out on the prairies, which ran up to our mountain homes, wandered herds
of deer, antelope, elk, and buffalo, to be slaughtered when we needed

Usually we hunted buffalo on horseback, killing them with arrows and
spears. Their skins were used to make tepees and bedding; their flesh,
to eat.

It required more skill to hunt the deer than any other animal. We never
tried to approach a deer except against the wind. Frequently we would
spend hours in stealing upon grazing deer. If they were in the open we
would crawl long distances on the ground, keeping a weed or brush before
us, so that our approach would not be noticed. Often we could kill
several out of one herd before the others would run away. Their flesh
was dried and packed in vessels, and would keep in this condition for
many months. The hide of the deer was soaked in water and ashes and the
hair removed, and then the process of tanning continued until the
buckskin was soft and pliable. Perhaps no other animal was more valuable
to us than the deer.

In the forests and along the streams were many wild turkeys. These we
would drive to the plains, then slowly ride up toward them until they
were almost tired out. When they began to drop and hide we would ride in
upon them and by swinging from the side of our horses, catch them. If
one started to fly we would ride swiftly under him and kill him with a
short stick, or hunting club. In this way we could usually get as many
wild turkeys as we could carry home on a horse.

There were many rabbits in our range, and we also hunted them on
horseback. Our horses were trained to follow the rabbit at full speed,
and as they approached them we would swing from one side of the horse
and strike the rabbit with our hunting club. If he was too far away we
would throw the stick and kill him. This was great sport when we were
boys, but as warriors we seldom hunted small game.

There were many fish in the streams, but as we did not eat them, we did
not try to catch or kill them. Small boys sometimes threw stones at them
or shot at them for practice with their bows and arrows. Usen did not
intend snakes, frogs, or fishes to be eaten. I have never eaten of them.

There were many eagles in the mountains. These we hunted for their
feathers. It required great skill to steal upon an eagle, for besides
having sharp eyes, he is wise and never stops at any place where he does
not have a good view of the surrounding country.

I have killed many bears with a spear, but was never injured in a fight
with one. I have killed several mountain lions with arrows, and one with
a spear. Both bears and mountain lions are good for food and valuable
for their skin. When we killed them we carried them home on our horses.
We often made quivers for our arrows from the skin of the mountain lion.
These were very pretty and very durable.

During my minority we had never seen a missionary or a priest. We had
never seen a white man. Thus quietly lived the Be-don-ko-he Apaches.


[8] The Apaches recognized no duties to any man outside their tribe. It
was no sin to kill enemies or to rob them. However, if they accepted any
favor from a stranger, or allowed him to share their comforts in any
way, he became (by adoption) related to the tribe and they must
recognize their duty to him.



My grandfather, Maco, had been our chief. I never saw him, but my father
often told me of the great size, strength, and sagacity of this old
warrior. Their principal wars had been with the Mexicans. They had some
wars with other tribes of Indians also, but were seldom at peace for any
great length of time with the Mexican towns.

Maco died when my father was but a young warrior, and Mangus-Colorado[9]
became chief of the Bedonkohe Apaches. When I was but a small boy my
father died, after having been sick for some time. When he passed away,
carefully the watchers closed his eyes, then they arrayed him in his
best clothes, painted his face afresh, wrapped a rich blanket around
him, saddled his favorite horse, bore his arms in front of him, and led
his horse behind, repeating in wailing tones his deeds of valor as they
carried his body to a cave in the mountain. Then they slew his horses,
and we gave away all of his other property,[10] as was customary in our
tribe, after which his body was deposited in the cave, his arms beside
him. His grave is hidden by piles of stone. Wrapped in splendor he lies
in seclusion, and the winds in the pines sing a low requiem over the
dead warrior.

After my father's death I assumed the care of my mother. She never
married again, although according to the customs of our tribe she might
have done so immediately after his death. Usually, however, the widow
who has children remains single after her husband's death for two or
three years; but the widow without children marries again immediately.
After a warrior's death his widow returns to her people and may be given
away or sold by her father or brothers. My mother chose to live with me,
and she never desired to marry again. We lived near our old home and I
supported her.

In 1846, being seventeen years of age, I was admitted to the council of
the warriors. Then I was very happy, for I could go wherever I wanted
and do whatever I liked. I had not been under the control of any
individual, but the customs of our tribe prohibited me from sharing the
glories of the warpath until the council admitted me. When opportunity
offered, after this, I could go on the warpath with my tribe. This
would be glorious. I hoped soon to serve my people in battle. I had long
desired to fight with our warriors.

Perhaps the greatest joy to me was that now I could marry the fair
Alope, daughter of No-po-so. She was a slender, delicate girl, but we
had been lovers for a long time. So, as soon as the council granted me
these privileges I went to see her father concerning our marriage.
Perhaps our love was of no interest to him; perhaps he wanted to keep
Alope with him, for she was a dutiful daughter; at any rate he asked
many ponies for her. I made no reply, but in a few days appeared before
his wigwam with the herd of ponies and took with me Alope. This was all
the marriage ceremony necessary in our tribe.

Not far from my mother's tepee I had made for us a new home. The tepee
was made of buffalo hides and in it were many bear robes, lion hides,
and other trophies of the chase, as well as my spears, bows, and
arrows. Alope had made many little decorations of beads[11] and drawn
work on buckskin, which she placed in our tepee. She also drew many
pictures on the walls of our home. She was a good wife, but she was
never strong. We followed the traditions of our fathers and were happy.
Three children came to us--children that played, loitered, and worked as
I had done.

[Illustration: APACHE PRINCESS

Daughter of Naiche, chief of the Chiricahua Apaches]


[9] Maco was chief of the Nedni Apaches. His son (Geronimo's father) had
married a Bedonkohe Apache (Geronimo's mother) and joined her tribe,
thereby losing his right to rule by heredity. By this it will be seen
Geronimo could not become chief by hereditary right, although his
grandfather was a chieftain. It is also shown that Geronimo's father
could not be chief, hence the accession of Mangus-Colorado.

[10] The Apaches will not keep any of the property of a deceased
relative. Their unwritten tribal laws forbid it, because they think that
otherwise the children or other relatives of one who had much property
might be glad when their father or relatives died.

[11] Beads were obtained from the Mexicans. The Apaches also got money
from the Mexicans, but deemed it of no value, and either gave it to
their children to play with or threw it away.





_Part I--The Massacre_

In the summer of 1858, being at peace with the Mexican towns as well as
with all the neighboring Indian tribes, we went south into Old Mexico to
trade. Our whole tribe (Bedonkohe Apaches) went through Sonora toward
Casa Grande, our destination, but just before reaching that place we
stopped at another Mexican town called by the Indians "Kas-ki-yeh." Here
we stayed for several days, camping just outside the city. Every day we
would go into town to trade, leaving our camp under the protection of a
small guard so that our arms, supplies, and women and children would not
be disturbed during our absence.

Late one afternoon when returning from town we were met by a few women
and children who told us that Mexican troops from some other town had
attacked our camp, killed all the warriors of the guard, captured all
our ponies, secured our arms, destroyed our supplies, and killed many of
our women and children. Quickly we separated, concealing ourselves as
best we could until nightfall, when we assembled at our appointed place
of rendezvous--a thicket by the river. Silently we stole in one by one:
sentinels were placed, and, when all were counted, I found that my aged
mother, my young wife, and my three small children were among the slain.
There were no lights in camp, so without being noticed I silently turned
away and stood by the river. How long I stood there I do not know, but
when I saw the warriors arranging for a council I took my place.

That night I did not give my vote for or against any measure; but it was
decided that as there were only eighty warriors left, and as we were
without arms or supplies, and were furthermore surrounded by the
Mexicans far inside their own territory, we could not hope to fight
successfully. So our chief, Mangus-Colorado, gave the order to start at
once in perfect silence for our homes in Arizona, leaving the dead upon
the field.

I stood until all had passed, hardly knowing what I would do--I had no
weapon, nor did I hardly wish to fight, neither did I contemplate
recovering the bodies of my loved ones, for that was forbidden. I did
not pray, nor did I resolve to do anything in particular, for I had no
purpose left. I finally followed the tribe silently, keeping just within
hearing distance of the soft noise of the feet of the retreating

The next morning some of the Indians killed a small amount of game and
we halted long enough for the tribe to cook and eat, when the march was
resumed. I had killed no game, and did not eat. During the first march
as well as while we were camped at this place I spoke to no one and no
one spoke to me--there was nothing to say.

For two days and three nights we were on forced marches, stopping only
for meals, then we made a camp near the Mexican border, where we rested
two days. Here I took some food and talked with the other Indians who
had lost in the massacre, but none had lost as I had, for I had lost

Within a few days we arrived at our own settlement. There were the
decorations that Alope had made--and there were the playthings of our
little ones. I burned[12] them all, even our tepee. I also burned my
mother's tepee and destroyed all her property.

I was never again contented in our quiet home. True, I could visit my
father's grave, but I had vowed vengeance upon the Mexican troopers who
had wronged me, and whenever I came near his grave or saw anything to
remind me of former happy days my heart would ache for revenge upon


_Part II--Revenge_

As soon as we had again collected some arms and supplies
Mangus-Colorado, our chief, called a council and found that all our
warriors were willing to take the warpath against Mexico. I was
appointed to solicit the aid of other tribes in this war.

When I went to the Chokonen (Chiricahua) Apaches, Cochise, their chief,
called a council at early dawn. Silently the warriors assembled at an
open place in a mountain dell and took their seats on the ground,
arranged in rows according to their ranks. Silently they sat smoking. At
a signal from the chief I arose and presented my cause as follows:

"Kinsman, you have heard what the Mexicans have recently done without
cause. You are my relatives--uncles, cousins, brothers. We are men the
same as the Mexicans are--we can do to them what they have done to us.
Let us go forward and trail them--I will lead you to their city--we will
attack them in their homes. I will fight in the front of the battle--I
only ask you to follow me to avenge this wrong done by these
Mexicans--will you come? It is well--you will all come.

"Remember the rule in war--men may return or they may be killed. If any
of these young men are killed I want no blame from their kinsmen, for
they themselves have chosen to go. If I am killed no one need mourn for
me. My people have all been killed in that country, and I, too, will die
if need be."

I returned to my own settlement, reported this success to my chieftain,
and immediately departed to the southward into the land of the Nedni
Apaches. Their chief, Whoa, heard me without comment, but he immediately
issued orders for a council, and when all were ready gave a sign that I
might speak. I addressed them as I had addressed the Chokonen tribe, and
they also promised to help us.

It was in the summer of 1859, almost a year from the date of the
massacre of Kaskiyeh, that these three tribes were assembled on the
Mexican border to go upon the warpath. Their faces were painted, the war
bands[13] fastened upon their brows, their long scalp-locks[14] ready
for the hand and knife of the warrior who could overcome them. Their
families had been hidden away in a mountain rendezvous near the Mexican
border. With these families a guard was posted, and a number of places
of rendezvous designated in case the camp should be disturbed.

When all were ready the chieftains gave command to go forward. None of
us were mounted and each warrior wore moccasins and also a cloth wrapped
about his loins. This cloth could be spread over him when he slept, and
when on the march would be ample protection as clothing. In battle, if
the fight was hard, we did not wish much clothing. Each warrior carried
three days' rations, but as we often killed game while on the march, we
seldom were without food.

We traveled in three divisions: the Bedonkohe Apaches led by
Mangus-Colorado, the Chokonen Apaches by Cochise, and the Nedni Apaches
by Whoa; however, there was no regular order inside the separate tribes.
We usually marched about fourteen hours per day, making three stops for
meals and traveling forty to forty-five miles a day.

I acted as guide into Mexico, and we followed the river courses and
mountain ranges because we could better thereby keep our movements
concealed. We entered Sonora and went southward past Quitaco, Nacozari,
and many smaller settlements.


When we were almost at Arispe we camped, and eight men rode out from the
city to parley with us. These we captured, killed, and scalped. This was
to draw the troops from the city, and the next day they came. The
skirmishing lasted all day without a general engagement, but just at
night we captured their supply train, so we had plenty of provisions and
some more guns.

That night we posted sentinels and did not move our camp, but rested
quietly all night, for we expected heavy work the next day. Early the
next morning the warriors were assembled to pray--not for help, but that
they might have health and avoid ambush or deceptions by the enemy.

As we had anticipated, about ten o'clock in the morning the whole
Mexican force came out. There were two companies of cavalry and two of
infantry. I recognized the cavalry as the soldiers who had killed my
people at Kaskiyeh. This I told to the chieftains, and they said that I
might direct the battle.

I was no chief and never had been, but because I had been more deeply
wronged than others, this honor was conferred upon me, and I resolved to
prove worthy of the trust. I arranged the Indians in a hollow circle
near the river, and the Mexicans drew their infantry up in two lines,
with the cavalry in reserve. We were in the timber, and they advanced
until within about four hundred yards, when they halted and opened fire.
Soon I led a charge against them, at the same time sending some braves
to attack their rear. In all the battle I thought of my murdered mother,
wife, and babies--of my father's grave and my vow of vengeance, and I
fought with fury. Many fell by my hand, and constantly I led the
advance. Many braves were killed. The battle lasted about two hours.

At the last four Indians were alone in the center of the field--myself
and three other warriors. Our arrows were all gone, our spears broken
off in the bodies of dead enemies. We had only our hands and knives with
which to fight, but all who had stood against us were dead. Then two
armed soldiers came upon us from another part of the field. They shot
down two of our men and we, the remaining two, fled toward our own
warriors. My companion was struck down by a saber, but I reached our
warriors, seized a spear, and turned. The one who pursued me missed his
aim and fell by my spear. With his saber I met the trooper who had
killed my companion and we grappled and fell. I killed him with my knife
and quickly rose over his body, brandishing his saber, seeking for other
troopers to kill. There were none. But the Apaches had seen. Over the
bloody field, covered with the bodies of Mexicans, rang the fierce
Apache war-whoop.

Still covered with the blood of my enemies, still holding my conquering
weapon, still hot with the joy of battle, victory, and vengeance, I was
surrounded by the Apache braves and made war chief of all the Apaches.
Then I gave orders for scalping the slain.[15]

I could not call back my loved ones, I could not bring back the dead
Apaches, but I could rejoice in this revenge. The Apaches had avenged
the massacre of "Kas-ki-yeh."


[12] According to custom he should not have kept the property of his
deceased relatives, but he was not compelled to destroy his own tepee or
the playthings of his children.

[13] Strips of buckskin about two inches wide fastened around the head.

[14] At this time the Mexican Government offered a reward in gold for
Apache scalps--one hundred dollars for warrior's scalp, fifty dollars
for squaw's scalp, and twenty-five dollars for child's scalp.

[15] From the moment the command for war is given with the Apaches
everything assumes a religious guise. The manner of camping, cooking,
etc., are exactly prescribed. Every object appertaining to war is called
by its sacred name; as if, for instance, in English, one should say not
horse, but war-horse or charger; not arrow, but missile of death. The
Indian is not called by his ordinary name, but by a sacred name to which
is subjoined "brave" or "chief" as the case may be. Geronimo's Indian
name was Go khl yeh, but the Mexicans at this battle called him
Geronimo, a name he has borne ever since both among the Indians and
white men.



All the other Apaches were satisfied after the battle of "Kaskiyeh," but
I still desired more revenge. For several months we were busy with the
chase and other peaceful pursuits. Finally I succeeded in persuading two
others warriors, Ah-koch-ne and Ko-deh-ne, to go with me to invade the
Mexican country.

We left our[16] families with the tribe and went on the warpath. We were
on foot and carried three days' rations. We entered Mexico on the north
line of Sonora and followed the Sierra de Antunez Mountains to the south
end of the range. Here we decided to attack a small village. (I do not
know the name of this village.) At daylight we approached from the
mountains. Five horses were hitched outside. We advanced cautiously,
but just before we reached the horses the Mexicans opened fire from the
houses. My two companions were killed. Mexicans swarmed on every side;
some were mounted; some were on foot, and all seemed to be armed. Three
times that day I was surrounded, but I kept fighting, dodging, and
hiding. Several times during the day while in concealment I had a chance
to take deliberate aim at some Mexican, who, gun in hand, was looking
for me. I do not think I missed my aim either time. With the gathering
darkness I found more time to retreat toward Arizona. But the Mexicans
did not quit the chase. Several times the next day mounted Mexicans
tried to head me off; many times they fired on me, but I had no more
arrows; so I depended upon running and hiding, although I was very
tired. I had not eaten since the chase began, nor had I dared to stop
for rest. The second night I got clear of my pursuers, but I never
slackened my pace until I reached our home in Arizona. I came into our
camp without booty, without my companions, exhausted, but not

The wives and children of my two dead companions were cared for by their
people. Some of the Apaches blamed me for the evil result of the
expedition, but I said nothing. Having failed, it was only proper that I
should remain silent. But my feelings toward the Mexicans did not
change--I still hated them and longed for revenge. I never ceased to
plan for their punishment, but it was hard to get the other warriors to
listen to my proposed raids.

In a few months after this last adventure I persuaded two other warriors
to join me in raiding the Mexican frontier. On our former raid we had
gone through the Nedni Apaches' range into Sonora. This time we went
through the country of the Cho-kon-en and entered the Sierra Madre
Mountains. We traveled south, secured more rations, and prepared to
begin our raids. We had selected a village near the mountains which we
intended to attack at daylight. While asleep that night Mexican scouts
discovered our camp and fired on us, killing one warrior. In the morning
we observed a company of Mexican troops coming from the south. They were
mounted and carried supplies for a long journey. We followed their trail
until we were sure that they were headed for our range in Arizona; then
we hurried past them and in three days reached our own settlement. We
arrived at noon, and that afternoon, about three o'clock, these Mexican
troops attacked our settlement. Their first volley killed three small
boys. Many of the warriors of our tribe were away from home, but the few
of us who were in camp were able to drive the troops out of the
mountains before night. We killed eight Mexicans and lost five--two
warriors and three boys. The Mexicans rode due south in full retreat.
Four warriors were detailed to follow them, and in three days these
trailers returned, saying that the Mexican cavalry had left Arizona,
going southward. We were quite sure they would not return soon.

Soon after this (in the summer of 1860) I was again able to take the
warpath against the Mexicans, this time with twenty-five warriors. We
followed the trail of the Mexican troops last mentioned and entered the
Sierra de Sahuaripa Mountains. The second day in these mountains our
scouts discovered mounted Mexican troops. There was only one company of
cavalry in this command, and I thought that by properly surprising them
we could defeat them. We ambushed the trail over which they were to
come. This was at a place where the whole company must pass through a
mountain defile. We reserved fire until all of the troops had passed
through; then the signal was given. The Mexican troopers, seemingly
without a word of command, dismounted, and placing their horses on the
outside of the company, for breastworks, made a good fight against us. I
saw that we could not dislodge them without using all our ammunition, so
I led a charge. The warriors suddenly pressed in from all sides and we
fought hand to hand. During this encounter I raised my spear to kill a
Mexican soldier just as he leveled his gun at me; I was advancing
rapidly, and my foot slipping in a pool of blood, I fell under the
Mexican trooper. He struck me over the head with the butt of his gun,
knocking me senseless. Just at that instant a warrior who followed in my
footsteps killed the Mexican with a spear. In a few minutes not a
Mexican soldier was left alive. When the Apache war-cry had died away,
and their enemies had been scalped, they began to care for their dead
and wounded. I was found lying unconscious where I had fallen. They
bathed my head in cold water and restored me to consciousness. Then they
bound up my wound and the next morning, although weak from loss of
blood and suffering from a severe headache, I was able to march on the
return to Arizona. I did not fully recover for months, and I still wear
the scar given me by that musketeer. In this fight we had lost so
heavily that there really was no glory in our victory, and we returned
to Arizona. No one seemed to want to go on the warpath again that year.

In the summer (1861) with twelve warriors I again went into Mexico. We
entered Chihuahua and followed south on the east side of the Sierra
Madre Mountains four days' journey; then crossed over to the Sierra de
Sahuaripa range, not far east of Casa Grande. Here we rested one day,
and sent out scouts to reconnoiter. They reported pack trains camped
five miles west of us. The next morning just at daybreak, as these
drivers were starting with their mule pack train, we attacked them. They
rode away for their lives, leaving us the booty. The mules were loaded
with provisions, most of which we took home. Two mules were loaded with
side-meat or bacon;[17] this we threw away. We started to take these
pack trains home, going northward through Sonora, but when near Casita,
Mexican troops overtook us. It was at daybreak and we were just
finishing our breakfast. We had no idea that we had been pursued or that
our enemies were near until they opened fire. At the first volley a
bullet struck me a glancing lick just at the lower corner of the left
eye and I fell unconscious. All the other Indians fled to cover. The
Mexicans, thinking me dead, started in pursuit of the fleeing Indians.
In a few moments I regained consciousness and had started at full speed
for the woods when another company coming up opened fire on me. Then the
soldiers who had been chasing the other Indians turned, and I stood
between two hostile companies, but I did not stand long. Bullets
whistled in every direction and at close range to me. One inflicted a
slight flesh wound on my side, but I kept running, dodging, and
fighting, until I got clear of my pursuers. I climbed up a steep caon,
where the cavalry could not follow. The troopers saw me, but did not
dismount and try to follow. I think they were wise not to come on.

It had been understood that in case of surprise with this booty, our
place of rendezvous should be the Santa Bita Mountains in Arizona. We
did not reassemble in Mexico, but traveled separately and in three days
we were encamped in our place of rendezvous. From this place we returned
home empty-handed. We had not even a partial victory to report. I again
returned wounded, but I was not yet discouraged. Again I was blamed by
our people, and again I had no reply.

After our return many of the warriors had gone on a hunt and some of
them had gone north to trade for blankets from the Navajo Indians. I
remained at home trying to get my wounds healed. One morning just at
daybreak, when the squaws were lighting the camp fires to prepare
breakfast, three companies of Mexican troops who had surrounded our
settlement in the night opened fire. There was no time for fighting.
Men, women, and children fled for their lives. Many women and children
and a few warriors were killed, and four women were captured. My left
eye was still swollen shut, but with the other I saw well enough to hit
one of the officers with an arrow, and then make good my escape among
the rocks. The troopers burned our tepees and took our arms, provisions,
ponies, and blankets. Winter was at hand.

There were not more than twenty warriors in camp at this time, and only
a few of us had secured weapons during the excitement of the attack. A
few warriors followed the trail of the troops as they went back to
Mexico with their booty, but were unable to offer battle. It was a long,
long time before we were again able to go on the warpath against the

The four women who were captured at this time by the Mexicans were taken
into Sonora, Mexico, where they were compelled to work for the Mexicans.
After some years they escaped to the mountains and started to find our
tribe. They had knives which they had stolen from the Mexicans, but they
had no other weapons. They had no blankets; so at night they would make
a little tepee by cutting brush with their knives, and setting them up
for the walls. The top was covered over with brush. In this temporary
tepee they would all sleep. One night when their camp fire was low they
heard growling just outside the tepee. Francisco, the youngest woman of
the party (about seventeen years of age), started to build up the fire,
when a mountain lion crashed through the tepee and attacked her. The
suddenness of the attack made her drop her knife, but she fought as best
she could with her hand. She was no match for the lion, however; her
left shoulder was crushed and partly torn away. The lion kept trying to
catch her by the throat; this she prevented with her hands for a long
time. He dragged her for about 300 yards, then she found her strength
was failing her from loss of blood, and she called to the other women
for help. The lion had been dragging her by one foot, and she had been
catching hold of his legs, and of the rocks and underbrush, to delay
him. Finally he stopped and stood over her. She again called her
companions and they attacked him with their knives and killed him. Then
they dressed her wounds and nursed her in the mountains for about a
month. When she was again able to walk they resumed their journey and
reached our tribe in safety.


This woman (Francisco) was held as a prisoner of war with the other
Apaches and died on the Fort Sill Reservation in 1892. Her face was
always disfigured with those scars and she never regained perfect use of
her hands. The three older women died before we became prisoners of war.

Many women and children were carried away at different times by
Mexicans. Not many of them ever returned, and those who did underwent
many hardships in order to be again united with their people. Those who
did not escape were slaves to the Mexicans, or perhaps even more

When warriors were captured by the Mexicans they were kept in chains.
Four warriors who were captured once at a place north of Casa Grande,
called by the Indians "Honas," were kept in chains for a year and a
half, when they were exchanged for Mexicans whom we had captured.

We never chained prisoners or kept them in confinement, but they seldom
got away. Mexican men when captured were compelled to cut wood and herd
horses. Mexican women and children[18] were treated as our own people.


[16] Geronimo had married again.

[17] They had never eaten bacon and did not learn to do so for a long
time. Even now they will not eat bacon or pork if they can get other
meat. Geronimo positively refuses to eat bacon or pork.

[18] The interpreter, Asa, son of Whoa, remembers a little captive
Mexican girl who used to play with the Apache children, but was finally

One of Geronimo's wives and her child were killed at this time, and
thenceforth until he became a prisoner of war he had two wives. He might
have had as many wives as he wished, but he says that he was so busy
fighting Mexicans that he could not support more than two.



In the summer of 1862 I took eight men and invaded Mexican territory. We
went south on the west side of the Sierra Madre Mountains for five days;
then in the night crossed over to the southern part of the Sierra de
Sahuaripa range. Here we again camped to watch for pack trains. About
ten o'clock next morning four drivers, mounted, came past our camp with
a pack-mule train. As soon as they saw us they rode for their lives,
leaving us the booty. This was a long train, and packed with blankets,
calico, saddles, tinware, and loaf sugar. We hurried home as fast as we
could with these provisions, and on our return while passing through a
caon in the Santa Catilina range of mountains in Arizona, met a white
man driving a mule pack train. When we first saw him he had already
seen us, and was riding at full tilt up the caon. We examined his train
and found that his mules were all loaded with cheese. We put them in
with the other train and resumed our journey. We did not attempt to
trail the driver and I am sure he did not try to follow us.

In two days we arrived at home. Then Mangus-Colorado, our chief,
assembled the tribe. We gave a feast, divided the spoils, and danced all
night. Some of the pack mules were killed and eaten.

This time after our return we kept out scouts so that we would know if
Mexican troops should attempt to follow us.

On the third day our scouts came into camp and reported Mexican cavalry
dismounted and approaching our settlement. All our warriors were in
camp. Mangus-Colorado took command of one division and I of the other.
We hoped to get possession of their horses, then surround the troops in
the mountains, and destroy the whole company. This we were unable to
do, for they, too, had scouts. However, within four hours after we
started we had killed ten troopers with the loss of only one man, and
the Mexican cavalry was in full retreat, followed by thirty armed
Apaches, who gave them no rest until they were far inside the Mexican
country. No more troops came that winter.

[Illustration: APACHE SCOUTS


For a long time we had plenty of provisions, plenty of blankets, and
plenty of clothing. We also had plenty of cheese and sugar.

Another summer (1863) I selected three warriors and went on a raid into
Mexico. We went south into Sonora, camping in the Sierra de Sahuaripa
Mountains. About forty miles west of Casa Grande is a small village in
the mountains, called by the Indians "Crassanas." We camped near this
place and concluded to make an attack. We had noticed that just at
midday no one seemed to be stirring; so we planned to make our attack
at the noon hour. The next day we stole into the town at noon. We had no
guns, but were armed with spears and bows and arrows. When the war-whoop
was given to open the attack the Mexicans fled in every direction; not
one of them made any attempt to fight us.

We shot some arrows at the retreating Mexicans, but killed only one.
Soon all was silent in the town and no Mexicans could be seen.

When we discovered that all the Mexicans were gone we looked through
their houses and saw many curious things. These Mexicans kept many more
kinds of property than the Apaches did. Many of the things we saw in the
houses we could not understand, but in the stores we saw much that we
wanted; so we drove in a herd of horses and mules, and packed as much
provisions and supplies as we could on them. Then we formed these
animals into a pack train and returned safely to Arizona. The Mexicans
did not even trail us.

When we arrived in camp we called the tribe together and feasted all
day. We gave presents to everyone. That night the dance began, and it
did not cease until noon the next day.

This was perhaps the most successful raid ever made by us into Mexican
territory. I do not know the value of the booty, but it was very great,
for we had supplies enough to last our whole tribe for a year or more.

In the fall of 1864 twenty warriors were willing to go with me on
another raid into Mexico. These were all chosen men, well armed and
equipped for battle. As usual we provided for the safety of our families
before starting on this raid. Our whole tribe scattered and then
reassembled at a camp about forty miles from the former place. In this
way it would be hard for the Mexicans to trail them and we would know
where to find our families when we returned. Moreover, if any hostile
Indians should see this large number of warriors leaving our range they
might attack our camp, but if they found no one at the usual place their
raid would fail.

We went south through the Chokonen Apaches' range, entered Sonora,
Mexico, at a point directly south of Tombstone, Arizona, and went into
hiding in the Sierra de Antunez Mountains.

We attacked several settlements in the neighborhood and secured plenty
of provisions and supplies. After about three days we attacked and
captured a mule pack train at a place called by the Indians "Pontoco."
It is situated in the mountains due west, about one day's journey[19]
from Arispe.

There were three drivers with this train. One was killed and two
escaped. The train was loaded with mescal,[20] which was contained in
bottles held in wicker baskets. As soon as we made camp the Indians
began to get drunk and fight each other. I, too, drank enough mescal to
feel the effect of it, but I was not drunk. I ordered the fighting
stopped, but the order was disobeyed. Soon almost a general fight was in
progress. I tried to place a guard out around our camp, but all were
drunk and refused to serve. I expected an attack from Mexican troops at
any moment, and really it was a serious matter for me, for being in
command I would be held responsible for any ill luck attending the
expedition. Finally the camp became comparatively still, for the Indians
were too drunk to walk or even to fight. While they were in this stupor
I poured out all the mescal, then I put out all the fires and moved the
pack mules to a considerable distance from camp. After this I returned
to camp to try to do something for the wounded. I found that only two
were dangerously wounded. From the leg of one of these I cut an arrow
head, and from the shoulder of another I withdrew a spear point. When
all the wounds had been cared for, I myself kept guard till morning. The
next day we loaded our wounded on the pack mules and started for

The next day we captured come cattle from a herd and drove them home
with us. But it was a very difficult matter to drive cattle when we were
on foot. Caring for the wounded and keeping the cattle from escaping
made our journey tedious. But we were not trailed, and arrived safely at
home with all the booty.

We then gave a feast and dance, and divided the spoils. After the dance
we killed all the cattle and dried the meat. We dressed the hides and
then the dried meat was packed in between these hides and stored away.
All that winter we had plenty of meat. These were the first cattle we
ever had. As usual we killed and ate some of the mules. We had little
use for mules, and if we could not trade them for something of value,
we killed them.

In the summer of 1865, with four warriors, I went again into Mexico.
Heretofore we had gone on foot; we were accustomed to fight on foot;
besides, we could more easily conceal ourselves when dismounted. But
this time we wanted more cattle, and it was hard to drive them when we
were on foot. We entered Sonora at a point southwest from Tombstone,
Arizona, and followed the Sierra de Antunez Mountains to the southern
limit, then crossed the country as far south as the mouth of Yaqui
River. Here we saw a great lake[21] extending beyond the limit of sight.
Then we turned north, attacked several settlements, and secured plenty
of supplies. When we had come back northwest of Arispe we secured about
sixty head of cattle, and drove them to our homes in Arizona. We did not
go directly home, but camped in different valleys with our cattle. We
were not trailed. When we arrived at our camp the tribe was again
assembled for feasting and dancing. Presents were given to everybody;
then the cattle were killed and the meat dried and packed.


[19] Forty-five miles.

[20] Mescal is a fiery liquor produced in Mexico from several species of

[21] Gulf of California.



In the fall of 1865 with nine other warriors I went into Mexico on foot.
We attacked several settlements south of Casa Grande, and collected many
horses and mules. We made our way northward with these animals through
the mountains. When near Arispe we made camp one evening, and thinking
that we were not being trailed, turned loose the whole herd, even those
we had been riding. They were in a valley surrounded by steep mountains,
and we were camped at the mouth of this valley so that the animals could
not leave without coming through our camp. Just as we had begun to eat
our supper our scouts came in and announced Mexican troops coming toward
our camp. We started for the horses, but troops that our scouts had not
seen were on the cliffs above us, and opened fire. We scattered in all
directions, and the troops recovered all our booty. In three days we
reassembled at our appointed place of rendezvous in the Sierra Madre
Mountains in northern Sonora. Mexican troops did not follow us, and we
returned to Arizona without any more fighting and with no booty. Again I
had nothing to say, but I was anxious for another raid.

Early the next summer (1866) I took thirty mounted warriors and invaded
Mexican territory. We went south through Chihuahua as far as Santa Cruz,
Sonora, then crossed over the Sierra Madre Mountains, following the
river course at the south end of the range. We kept on westward from the
Sierra Madre Mountains to the Sierra de Sahuripa Mountains, and followed
that range northward. We collected all the horses, mules, and cattle we
wanted, and drove them northward through Sonora into Arizona. Mexicans
saw us at many times and in many places, but they did not attack us at
any time, nor did any troops attempt to follow us. When we arrived at
our homes we gave presents to all, and the tribe feasted and danced.
During this raid we had killed about fifty Mexicans.


NAICHE, son of Coche; ASA, son of Whoa; CHARLEY, son of Victoria]

Next year (1867) Mangus-Colorado led eight warriors on a raid into
Mexico. I went as a warrior, for I was always glad to fight the
Mexicans. We rode south from near Tombstone, Arizona, into Sonora,
Mexico. We attacked some cowboys, and after a fight with them, in which
two of their number were killed, we drove all their cattle northward.
The second day we were driving the cattle, but had no scouts out. When
we were not far from Arispe, Mexican troops rode upon us. They were well
armed and well mounted, and when we first saw them they were not half a
mile away from us. We left the cattle and rode as hard as we could
toward the mountains, but they gained on us rapidly. Soon they opened
fire, but were so far away from us that we were unable to reach them
with our arrows; finally we reached some timber, and, leaving our
ponies, fought from cover. Then the Mexicans halted, collected our
ponies, and rode away across the plains toward Arispe, driving the
cattle with them. We stood and watched them until they disappeared in
the distance, and then took up our march for home.

We arrived home in five days with no victory to report, no spoils to
divide, and not even the ponies which we had ridden into Mexico. This
expedition was considered disgraceful.

The warriors who had been with Mangus-Colorado on this last expedition
wanted to return to Mexico. They were not satisfied, besides they felt
keenly the taunts of the other warriors. Mangus-Colorado would not lead
them back, so I took command and we went on foot, directly toward Arispe
in Sonora, and made our camp in the Sierra de Sahuripa Mountains. There
were only six of us, but we raided several settlements (at night),
captured many horses and mules, and loaded them with provisions, saddles
and blankets. Then we returned to Arizona, traveling only at night. When
we arrived at our camp we sent out scouts to prevent any surprise by
Mexicans, assembled the tribe, feasted, danced, and divided the spoils.
Mangus-Colorado would not receive any of this booty, but we did not
care. No Mexican troops followed us to Arizona.

About a year after this (1868) Mexican troops rounded up all the horses
and mules of the tribe not far from our settlement. No raids had been
made into Mexico that year, and we were not expecting any attacks. We
were all in camp, having just returned from hunting.

About two o'clock in the afternoon two Mexican scouts were seen near our
settlement. We killed these scouts, but the troops got under way with
the herd of our horses and mules before we saw them. It was useless to
try to overtake them on foot, and our tribe had not a horse left. I took
twenty warriors and trailed them. We found the stock at a cattle ranch
in Sonora, not far from Nacozari, and attacked the cowboys who had them
in charge. We killed two men and lost none. After the fight we drove off
our own stock and all of theirs.

We were trailed by nine cowboys. I sent the stock on ahead and with
three warriors stayed in the rear to intercept any attacking parties.
One night when near the Arizona line we discovered these cowboys on our
trail and watched them camp for the night and picket their horses. About
midnight we stole into their camp and silently led away all their
horses, leaving the cowboys asleep. Then we rode hard and overtook our
companions, who always traveled at night instead of in the daytime. We
turned these horses in with the herd and fell back to again intercept
anyone who might trail us. What these nine cowboys did next morning I
do not know, and I have never heard the Mexicans say anything about it;
I know they did not follow us, for we were not molested. When we arrived
in camp at home there was great rejoicing in the tribe. It was
considered a good trick to get the Mexicans' horses and leave them
asleep in the mountains.

It was a long time before we again went into Mexico or were disturbed by
the Mexicans.



When reading the foregoing chapters of Apache raids one not acquainted
with the lawlessness of the frontier might wonder how this tendency of
the Apaches was developed to such a marked degree; but one acquainted
with the real conditions--the disregard for law by both Mexicans and
white men along the border line of Old Mexico and Arizona in early
days--can readily understand where the Apache got his education in the
art of conducting lawless raids. In order, therefore, that those who are
unacquainted with the conditions as they were in southern Arizona during
the eighties, may understand the environment of the Apaches, this
chapter is given. The events herein narrated are taken by the author
from many accounts given him by reliable men who lived in this section
of country during the period mentioned.

[Illustration: APACHE CAMP]

_Raid by White Men_

In 1882 a company of six Mexican traders, who were known as "smugglers"
because they evaded duties on goods which they brought into United
States and sold in Arizona, were camped in Skeleton Caon, ten miles
north of the north line of Old Mexico. They were known to carry large
sums of money, but as they were always armed and ready to defend their
possessions they were not often molested. However, on this occasion,
just as they were rising in the morning to prepare their breakfast, five
white men opened fire on them from ambush and all save one of the
Mexicans were killed. This one, though wounded, finally made his escape.
A few days after the killing some cowboys on a round-up camped at this
place and buried the remains (what the coyotes had left) of these five
Mexicans. Two years later, at the same place, a cowboy found a leather
bag containing seventy-two Mexican dollars, which small amount of money
had been overlooked by the robbers.

The men who did this killing lived in Arizona for many years afterwards,
and although it was known that they had committed the depredation, no
arrests followed, and no attempt was made by any of the Mexicans to
recover the property of their fellow citizens.

_Mexican Raid_

In 1884 a cattleman and four cowboys from his ranch started to drive
some fat cattle to market at Tombstone, Arizona. The route they took led
partly through Old Mexico and partly through Arizona. One night they
camped in a caon just south of the Mexican border. Next morning at
daylight, the cowboy who had been on herd duty the last half of the
night had just come in and aroused the camp when the Mexicans opened
fire on them from ambush. The cattleman and one of the cowboys were
severely wounded at the first volley and took shelter behind the camp
wagon, from which position they fired as long as their ammunition
lasted. The other three were only slightly wounded and reached cover,
but only one escaped with his life. He remained in hiding for two days
before his comrades found him. He saw the Mexicans rob the bodies of the
dead and lead away their saddle horses, after having cooked breakfast
for themselves in the deserted camp. He was severely wounded and all his
ammunition was gone, hence he could only wait.

On the second day after this raid some of the cattle strayed back to the
old ranch, thereby giving notice to the cowboys that there had been foul
play. They found their wounded companions lying delirious near the
decaying bodies of their comrades. No arrests were ever made in Mexico
for these murders, and no attempt was made to recover damage or
prosecute the robbers. The two instances above narrated will serve to
show the reader what kind of an example was set for the Apaches by at
least a portion of the inhabitants of the two Christian nations with
whom they came in contact.

_Apache Raids_

It is thought well to give in this chapter some of the depredations of
the Apaches, not told by Geronimo. They are given as told by our own
citizens and from the white man's point of view.

In 1884 Judge McCormick and wife, accompanied by their young son, were
driving from Silver City to Lordsburg, when they were ambushed by
Apaches. The bodies of the adults were found soon afterward, but the
child's body was never recovered. Years afterwards, an Apache squaw told
some of the settlers in Arizona that the little boy (about eight years
old) cried so much and was so stubborn that they had to kill him,
although their original intention was to spare his life.

In 1882 a man named Hunt was wounded in a row in a saloon in Tombstone,
Arizona. During this row two other men had been killed, and, to avoid
arrest, Hunt and his brother went into the mountains and camped about
ten miles north of Willow Springs to await the healing of his wounds. A
few days after they came there, Apache Indians attacked them and killed
the wounded brother, but the other, by hard riding, made good his

In 1883 two Eastern boys went into Arizona to prospect. Their real
outing began at Willow Springs, where they had stayed two days with the
cowboys. These cowboys had warned them against the Apaches, but the
young men seemed entirely fearless, and pushed on into the mountains. On
the second morning after they left the settlement, one of the boys was
getting breakfast while the other went to bring in the pack horses that
had been hobbled and turned loose the night before to graze. Just about
the time he found his horses, two Apache warriors rode out from cover
toward him and he made a hasty retreat to camp, jumping off of a bluff
and in so doing breaking his leg.

A consultation was then held between the two Easterners and it was
decided that perhaps all the stories they had been told of the Apache
raids were true, and that it was advisable to surrender. Accordingly a
white handkerchief was tied to the end of a pole and raised cautiously
above the top of the bluff. In about ten minutes the two Indians--one a
very old warrior and the other a mere boy, evidently his son--rode into
camp and dismounted. The old warrior examined the broken limb, then
without a word proceeded to take off the shirt of the uninjured youth,
with strips of which he carefully bound up the broken leg. After this
the two Indians ate the prepared breakfast and remounted their ponies.
Then the old warrior, indicating the direction with his thumb, said
"Doctor--Lordsburg--three days," and silently rode away. The young men
rode twenty-five miles to Sansimone, where the cowboys fitted them out
with a wagon to continue their journey to Lordsburg, seventy-five miles
further, where a physician's services could be secured.

In 1883 two prospectors, Alberts and Reese by name, were driving a team,
consisting of a horse and a mule, through Turkey Creek bottoms, when
they were shot by the Indians. The wagon and harness were left in the
road, and the mule was found dead in the road two hundred yards from
that place. Evidently the Indians had not much use for him. The guns of
the prospectors were found later, but the horse they drove was not

In none of the above-named instances were the bodies of the victims
mutilated. However, there are many recorded instances in which the
Apache Indians did mutilate the bodies of their victims, but it is
claimed by Geronimo that these were outlawed Indians, as his regular
warriors were instructed to scalp none except those killed in battle,
and to torture none except to make them reveal desired information.

In 1884 two cowboys in the employment of the Sansimone Cattle Company
were camped at Willow Springs, eighteen miles southwest of Skeleton
Caon, and not far from Old Mexico. Just at sundown their camp was
surrounded by Apaches in war paint, who said that they had been at war
with the Mexicans and wished to return to the United States. There were
about seventy-five Indians in the whole tribe, the squaws and children
coming up later. They had with them about one hundred and fifty Mexican
horses. The Indians took possession of the camp and remained for about
ten days, getting their supplies of meat by killing cattle of the

With this band of Indians was a white boy about fourteen years old, who
had evidently been with them from infancy, for he could not speak a word
of English, and did not understand much Spanish, but spoke the Apache
language readily.

They would allow but one of the cowboys to leave camp at a time, keeping
the other under guard. They had sentinels with spyglasses on all the
hills and peaks surrounding the camp.

One evening when one of the cowboys, William Berne, had been allowed to
pass out of the camp, he noticed an Indian dismounted and, as he
approached, discovered that the Indian had him under range of his rifle.
He immediately dismounted, and standing on the opposite side from the
redskin, threw his own Winchester across his horse's neck, when the
Indian sprang on his horse and galloped toward him at full speed,
making signs to him not to shoot, and when he approached him, dismounted
and pointing to the ground, showed Berne many fresh deer tracks. Then,
as an understanding had been established, the cowboy remounted and went
on his way, leaving the Apache to hunt the deer.

One day when this cowboy was about ten miles from camp, he found two
splendid horses of the Indians. These horses had strayed from the herd.
Thinking that they would in a way compensate for the cattle the Apaches
were eating, he drove them on for about five miles into a caon where
there was plenty of grass and water and left them there, intending to
come back after the departure of the Indians and take possession of

On the tenth day after the arrival of this band of Indians, United
States troops, accompanied by two Indians who had been sent to make the
arrangements, arrived in camp, paid for the cattle the Apaches had
eaten, took the Indians and their stock, and moved on toward Fort Bowie.
The cowboys immediately started for the caon where the two horses had
been left, but had not gone far when they met two Indians driving these
horses in front of them as they pushed on to overtake the tribe.

[Illustration: APACHE MISSION

Valley of Medicine Creek, Fort Sill Military Reservation]

Evidently the shrewdness of the paleface had not outwitted the red man
that time.

Geronimo says he was in no wise connected with the events herein
mentioned, but refuses to state whether he knows anything about them. He
holds it unmanly to tell of any depredations of red men except those for
which he was responsible.

Such were the events transpiring in "Apache land" during the days when
Geronimo was leading his warriors to avenge the "wrongs" of his people.
This chapter will serve to show that the Apache had plenty of examples
of lawlessness furnished him, and also that he was a very apt scholar in
this school of savage lawlessness.



About 1873 we were again attacked by Mexican troops in our settlement,
but we defeated them. Then we decided to make raids into Mexico. We
moved our whole camp, packing all our belongings on mules and horses,
went into Mexico and made camp in the mountains near Nacori. In moving
our camp in this way we wanted no one to spy on us, and if we passed a
Mexican's home we usually killed the inmates. However, if they offered
to surrender and made no resistance or trouble in any way, we would take
them prisoners. Frequently we would change our place of rendezvous; then
we would take with us our prisoners if they were willing to go, but if
they were unruly they might be killed. I remember one Mexican in the
Sierra Madre Mountains who saw us moving and delayed us for some time.
We took the trouble to get him, thinking the plunder of his house would
pay us for the delay, but after we had killed him we found nothing in
his house worth having. We ranged in these mountains for over a year,
raiding the Mexican settlements for our supplies, but not having any
general engagement with Mexican troops; then we returned to our homes in
Arizona. After remaining in Arizona about a year we returned to Mexico,
and went into hiding in the Sierra Madre Mountains. Our camp was near
Nacori, and we had just organized bands of warriors for raiding the
country, when our scouts discovered Mexican troops coming toward our
camp to attack us.

_Battle of White Hill_

The chief of the Nedni Apaches, Whoa, was with me and commanded one
division. The warriors were all marched toward the troops and met them
at a place about five miles from our camp. We showed ourselves to the
soldiers and they quickly rode to the top of a hill and dismounted,
placing their horses on the outside for breastworks. It was a round
hill, very steep and rocky, and there was no timber on its sides. There
were two companies of Mexican cavalry, and we had about sixty warriors.
We crept up the hill behind the rocks, and they kept up a constant fire,
but I had cautioned our warriors not to expose themselves to the

I knew that the troopers would waste their ammunition. Soon we had
killed all their horses, but the soldiers would lie behind these and
shoot at us. While we had killed several Mexicans, we had not yet lost a
man. However, it was impossible to get very close to them in this way,
and I deemed it best to lead a charge against them.

We had been fighting ever since about one o'clock, and about the middle
of the afternoon, seeing that we were making no further progress, I
gave the sign for the advance. The war-whoop sounded and we leaped
forward from every stone over the Mexicans' dead horses, fighting hand
to hand. The attack was so sudden that the Mexicans, running first this
way and then that, became so confused that in a few minutes we had
killed them all. Then we scalped the slain, carried away our dead, and
secured all the arms we needed. That night we moved our camp eastward
through the Sierra Madre Mountains into Chihuahua. No troops molested us
here and after about a year we returned to Arizona.

[Illustration: GERONIMO Apache War Chief

ASA DEKLUGIE Official interpreter for Geronimo. Son of Whoa, chief of
the Nedni Apaches. Chief elect to succeed Geronimo at the latter's

Almost every year we would live a part of the time in Old Mexico. There
were at this time many settlements in Arizona; game was not plentiful,
and besides we liked to go down into Old Mexico. Besides, the lands of
the Nedni Apaches, our friends and kinsmen, extended far into Mexico.
Their Chief, Whoa, was as a brother to me, and we spent much of our
time in his territory.

About 1880 we were in camp in the mountains south of Casa Grande, when a
company of Mexican troops attacked us. There were twenty-four Mexican
soldiers and about forty Indians. The Mexicans surprised us in camp and
fired on us, killing two Indians the first volley. I do not know how
they were able to find our camp unless they had excellent scouts and our
guards were careless, but there they were shooting at us before we knew
they were near. We were in the timber, and I gave the order to go
forward and fight at close range. We kept behind rocks and trees until
we came within ten yards of their line, then we stood up and both sides
shot until all the Mexicans were killed. We lost twelve warriors in this

This place was called by the Indians "Sko-la-ta." When we had buried our
dead and secured what supplies the Mexicans had, we went northeast. At
a place near Nacori Mexican troops attacked us. At this place, called by
the Indians "Nokode," there were about eighty warriors, Bedonkohe and
Nedni Apaches. There were three companies of Mexican troops. They
attacked us in an open field, and we scattered, firing as we ran. They
followed us, but we dispersed, and soon were free from their pursuit;
then we reassembled in the Sierra Madre Mountains. Here a council was
held, and as Mexican troops were coming from many quarters, we

In about four months we reassembled at Casa Grande to make a treaty of
peace. The chiefs of the town of Casa Grande, and all of the men of Casa
Grande, made a treaty with us. We shook hands and promised to be
brothers. Then we began to trade, and the Mexicans gave us mescal. Soon
nearly all the Indians were drunk. While they were drunk two companies
of Mexican troops, from another town, attacked us, killed twenty
Indians, and captured many more.[22] We fled in all directions.


[22] It is impossible to get Geronimo to understand that these troops
served the general government instead of any particular town. He still
thinks each town independent and each city a separate tribe. He cannot
understand the relation of cities to the general government.



After the treachery and massacre of Casa Grande we did not reassemble
for a long while, and when we did we returned to Arizona. We remained in
Arizona for some time, living in San Carlos Reservation, at a place now
called Geronimo. In 1883 we went into Mexico again. We remained in the
mountain ranges of Mexico for about fourteen months, and during this
time we had many skirmishes with Mexican troops. In 1884 we returned to
Arizona to get other Apaches to come with us into Mexico. The Mexicans
were gathering troops in the mountains where we had been ranging, and
their numbers were so much greater than ours that we could not hope to
fight them successfully, and we were tired of being chased about from
place to place.

In Arizona we had trouble with the United States soldiers (explained in
next chapter) and returned to Mexico.

We had lost about fifteen warriors in Arizona, and had gained no
recruits. With our reduced number we camped in the mountains north of
Arispe. Mexican troops were seen by our scouts in several directions.
The United States troops were coming down from the north. We were well
armed with guns and supplied with ammunition, but we did not care to be
surrounded by the troops of two governments, so we started to move our
camp southward.

One night we made camp some distance from the mountains by a stream.
There was not much water in the stream, but a deep channel was worn
through the prairie and small trees were beginning to grow here and
there along the bank of this stream.

In those days we never camped without placing scouts, for we knew that
we were liable to be attacked at any time. The next morning just at
daybreak our scouts came in, aroused the camp, and notified us that
Mexican troops were approaching. Within five minutes the Mexicans began
firing on us. We took to the ditches made by the stream, and had the
women and children busy digging these deeper. I gave strict orders to
waste no ammunition and keep under cover. We killed many Mexicans that
day and in turn lost heavily, for the fight lasted all day. Frequently
troops would charge at one point, be repulsed, then rally and charge at
another point.

About noon we began to hear them speaking my name with curses. In the
afternoon the general came on the field and the fighting became more
furious. I gave orders to my warriors to try to kill all the Mexican
officers. About three o'clock the general called all the officers
together at the right side of the field. The place where they assembled
was not very far from the main stream, and a little ditch ran out close
to where the officers stood. Cautiously I crawled out this ditch very
close to where the council was being held. The general was an old
warrior. The wind was blowing in my direction, so that I could hear all
he said, and I[23] understood most of it. This is about what he told
them: "Officers, yonder in those ditches is the red devil Geronimo and
his hated band. This must be his last day. Ride on him from both sides
of the ditches; kill men, women, and children; take no prisoners; dead
Indians are what we want. Do not spare your own men; exterminate this
band at any cost; I will post the wounded to shoot all deserters; go
back to your companies and advance."

Just as the command to go forward was given I took deliberate aim at the
general and he fell. In an instant the ground around me was riddled with
bullets, but I was untouched. The Apaches had seen. From all along the
ditches arose the fierce war-cry of my people. The columns wavered an
instant and then swept on; they did not retreat until our fire had
destroyed the front ranks.

[Illustration: LONE WOLF Chief of Kiowas

GERONIMO Apache War Chief]

After this their fighting was not so fierce, yet they continued to rally
and readvance until dark. They also continued to speak my name with
threats and curses. That night before the firing had ceased a dozen
Indians had crawled out of the ditches and set fire to the long prairie
grass behind the Mexican troops. During the confusion that followed we
escaped to the mountains.

This was the last battle that I ever fought with Mexicans. United States
troops were trailing us continually from this time until the treaty was
made with General Miles in Skeleton Caon.

During my many wars with the Mexicans I received eight wounds, as
follows: shot in the right leg above the knee, and still carry the
bullet; shot through the left forearm; wounded in the right leg below
the knee with a saber; wounded on top of the head with the butt of a
musket; shot just below the outer corner of the left eye; shot in left
side; shot in the back. I have killed many Mexicans; I do not know how
many, for frequently I did not count them. Some of them were not worth

It has been a long time since then, but still I have no love for the
Mexicans. With me they were always treacherous and malicious. I am old
now and shall never go on the warpath again, but if I were young, and
followed the warpath, it would lead into Old Mexico.


[23] Geronimo has a fair knowledge of the Spanish language.





About the time of the massacre of "Kaskiyeh" (1858) we heard that some
white men were measuring land to the south of us. In company with a
number of other warriors I went to visit them. We could not understand
them very well, for we had no interpreter, but we made a treaty with
them by shaking hands and promising to be brothers. Then we made our
camp near their camp, and they came to trade with us. We gave them
buckskin, blankets, and ponies in exchange for shirts and provisions. We
also brought them game, for which they gave us some money. We did not
know the value of this money, but we kept it and later learned from the
Navajo Indians that it was very valuable.

Every day they measured land with curious instruments and put down
marks which we could not understand. They were good men, and we were
sorry when they had gone on into the west. They were not soldiers. These
were the first white men I ever saw.

About ten years later some more white men came. These were all warriors.
They made their camp on the Gila River south of Hot Springs. At first
they were friendly and we did not dislike them, but they were not as
good as those who came first.

After about a year some trouble arose between them and the Indians, and
I took the warpath as a warrior, not as a chief.[24] I had not been
wronged, but some of my people had been, and I fought with my tribe; for
the soldiers and not the Indians were at fault.

Not long after this some of the officers of the United States troops
invited our leaders to hold a conference at Apache Pass (Fort Bowie).
Just before noon the Indians were shown into a tent and told that they
would be given something to eat. When in the tent they were[25] attacked
by soldiers. Our chief, Mangus-Colorado, and several other warriors, by
cutting through the tent, escaped; but most of the warriors were killed
or captured. Among the Bedonkohe Apaches killed at this time were Sanza,
Kladetahe, Niyokahe, and Gopi. After this treachery the Indians went
back to the mountains and left the fort entirely alone. I do not think
that the agent had anything to do with planning this, for he had always
treated us well. I believe it was entirely planned by the soldiers.

From[26] the very first the soldiers sent out to our western country,
and the officers in charge of them, did not hesitate to wrong the
Indians. They never explained to the Government when an Indian was
wronged, but always reported the misdeeds of the Indians. Much that was
done by mean white men was reported at Washington as the deeds of my

The Indians always tried to live peaceably with the white soldiers and
settlers. One day during the time that the soldiers were stationed at
Apache Pass I made a treaty with the post. This was done by shaking
hands and promising to be brothers. Cochise and Mangus-Colorado did
likewise. I do not know the name of the officer in command, but this
was the first regiment that ever came to Apache Pass. This treaty was
made about a year before we were attacked in a tent, as above related.
In a few days after the attack at Apache Pass we organized in the
mountains and returned to fight the soldiers. There were two tribes--the
Bedonkohe and the Chokonen Apaches, both commanded by Cochise. After a
few days' skirmishing we attacked a freight train that was coming in
with supplies for the Fort. We killed some of the men and captured the
others. These prisoners our chief offered to trade for the Indians whom
the soldiers had captured at the massacre in the tent. This the officers
refused, so we killed our prisoners, disbanded, and went into hiding in
the mountains. Of those who took part in this affair I am the only one
now living.

In a few days troops were sent out to search for us, but as we were
disbanded, it was, of course, impossible for them to locate any hostile
camp. During the time they were searching for us many of our warriors
(who were thought by the soldiers to be peaceable Indians) talked to the
officers and men, advising them where they might find the camp they
sought, and while they searched we watched them from our hiding places
and laughed at their failures.

After this trouble all of the Indians agreed not to be friendly with the
white men any more. There was no general engagement, but a long struggle
followed. Sometimes we attacked the white men--sometimes they attacked
us. First a few Indians would be killed and then a few soldiers. I think
the killing was about equal on each side. The number killed in these
troubles did not amount to much, but this treachery on the part of the
soldiers had angered the Indians and revived memories of other wrongs,
so that we never again trusted the United States troops.

[Illustration: QUANNA PARKER

Chief of Comanche Indians]


[24] As a tribe they would fight under their tribal chief,
Mangus-Colorado. If several tribes had been called out, the war chief,
Geronimo, would have commanded.

[25] Regarding this attack, Mr. L. C. Hughes, editor of _The Star_,
Tucson, Arizona, to whom I was referred by General Miles, writes as

"It appears that Cochise and his tribe had been on the warpath for some
time and he with a number of subordinate chiefs was brought into the
military camp at Bowie under the promise that a treaty of peace was to
be held, when they were taken into a large tent where handcuffs were put
upon them. Cochise, seeing this, cut his way through the tent and fled
to the mountains; and in less than six hours had surrounded the camp
with from three to five hundred warriors; but the soldiers refused to
make fight."

[26] This sweeping statement is more general than we are willing to
concede, yet it may be more nearly true than our own accounts.



Perhaps the greatest wrong ever done to the Indians was the treatment
received by our tribe from the United States troops about 1863. The
chief of our tribe, Mangus-Colorado, went to make a treaty of peace for
our people with the white settlement at Apache Tejo, New Mexico. It had
been reported to us that the white men in this settlement were more
friendly and more reliable than those in Arizona, that they would live
up to their treaties and would not wrong the Indians.

Mangus-Colorado, with three other warriors, went to Apache Tejo and held
a council with these citizens and soldiers. They told him that if he
would come with his tribe and live near them, they would issue to him,
from the Government, blankets, flour, provisions, beef, and all manner
of supplies. Our chief promised to return to Apache Tejo within two
weeks. When he came back to our settlement he assembled the whole tribe
in council. I did not believe that the people at Apache Tejo would do as
they said and therefore I opposed the plan, but it was decided that with
part of the tribe Mangus-Colorado should return to Apache Tejo and
receive an issue of rations and supplies. If they were as represented,
and if these white men would keep the treaty faithfully, the remainder
of the tribe would join him and we would make our permanent home at
Apache Tejo. I was to remain in charge of that portion of the tribe
which stayed in Arizona. We gave almost all of our arms and ammunition
to the party going to Apache Tejo, so that in case there should be
treachery they would be prepared for any surprise. Mangus-Colorado and
about half of our people went to New Mexico, happy that now they had
found white men who would be kind to them, and with whom they could
live in peace and plenty.

No word ever came to us from them. From other sources, however, we heard
that they had been treacherously[27] captured and slain. In this dilemma
we did not know just exactly what to do, but fearing that the troops who
had captured them would attack us, we retreated into the mountains near
Apache Pass.

During the weeks that followed the departure of our people we had been
in suspense, and failing to provide more supplies, had exhausted all of
our store of provisions. This was another reason for moving camp. On
this retreat, while passing through the mountains, we discovered four
men with a herd of cattle. Two of the men were in front in a buggy and
two were behind on horseback. We killed all four, but did not scalp
them; they were not warriors. We drove the cattle back into the
mountains, made a camp, and began to kill the cattle and pack the meat.

Before we had finished this work we were surprised and attacked by
United States troops, who killed in all seven Indians--one warrior,
three women, and three children. The Government troops were mounted and
so were we, but we were poorly armed, having given most of our weapons
to the division of our tribe that had gone to Apache Tejo, so we fought
mainly with spears, bows, and arrows. At first I had a spear, a bow, and
a few arrows; but in a short time my spear and all my arrows were gone.
Once I was surrounded, but by dodging from side to side of my horse as
he ran I escaped. It was necessary during this fight for many of the
warriors to leave their horses and escape on foot. But my horse was
trained to come at call, and as soon as I reached a safe place, if not
too closely pursued, I would call him to me.[28] During this fight we
scattered in all directions and two days later reassembled at our
appointed place of rendezvous, about fifty miles from the scene of this

About ten days later the same United States troops attacked our new camp
at sunrise. The fight lasted all day, but our arrows and spears were all
gone before ten o'clock, and for the remainder of the day we had only
rocks and clubs with which to fight. We could do little damage with
these weapons, and at night we moved our camp about four miles back into
the mountains where it would be hard for the cavalry to follow us. The
next day our scouts, who had been left behind to observe the movements
of the soldiers, returned, saying that the troops had gone back toward
San Carlos Reservation.

A few days after this we were again attacked by another company of
United States troops. Just before this fight we had been joined by a
band of Chokonen Indians under Cochise, who took command of both
divisions. We were repulsed, and decided to disband.

After we had disbanded our tribe the Bedonkohe Apaches reassembled near
their old camp vainly waiting for the return of Mangus-Colorado and our
kinsmen. No tidings came save that they had all been treacherously
slain.[29] Then a council was held, and as it was believed that
Mangus-Colorado was dead, I was elected Tribal Chief.

For a long time we had no trouble with anyone. It was more than a year
after I had been made Tribal Chief that United States troops surprised
and attacked our camp. They killed seven children, five women, and four
warriors, captured all our supplies, blankets, horses, and clothing,
and destroyed our tepees. We had nothing left; winter was beginning, and
it was the coldest winter I ever knew. After the soldiers withdrew I
took three warriors and trailed them. Their trail led back toward San


[27] General Miles telegraphed from Whipple Barracks, Arizona, Sept. 24,
1886, relative to the surrender of the Apaches. Among other things he
said: "Mangus-Colorado had years ago been foully murdered after he had

[28] Geronimo often calls his horses to him in Fort Sill Reservation. He
gives only one shrill note and they run to him at full speed.

[29] Regarding the killing of Mangus-Colorado, L. C. Hughes of the
Tucson, Ariz., _Star_, writes as follows: "It was early in the year '63,
when General West and his troops were camped near Membras, that he sent
Jack Swilling, a scout, to bring in Mangus, who had been on the warpath
ever since the time of the incident with Cochise at Bowie. The old chief
was always for peace, and gladly accepted the proffer; when he appeared
at the camp General West ordered him put into the guardhouse, in which
there was only a small opening in the rear and but one small window. As
the old chief entered he said: 'This is my end. I shall never again hunt
over the mountains and through the valleys of my people.' He felt that
he was to be assassinated. The guards were given orders to shoot him if
he attempted to escape. He lay down and tried to sleep, but during the
night, someone threw a large stone which struck him in the breast. He
sprang up and in his delirium the guards thought he was attempting
escape and several of them shot him; this was the end of Mangus.

"His head was severed from his body by a surgeon, and the brain taken
out and weighed. The head measured larger than that of Daniel Webster,
and the brain was of corresponding weight. The skull was sent to
Washington, and is now on exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution."



While returning from trailing the Government troops we saw two men, a
Mexican and a white man, and shot them off their horses. With these two
horses we returned and moved our camp. My people were suffering much and
it was deemed advisable to go where we could get more provisions. Game
was scarce in our range then, and since I had been Tribal Chief I had
not asked for rations from the Government, nor did I care to do so, but
we did not wish to starve.

We had heard that Chief Victoria of the Chihenne (Oje Caliente) Apaches
was holding a council with the white men near Hot Springs in New Mexico,
and that he had plenty of provisions. We had always been on friendly
terms with this tribe, and Victoria was especially kind to my people.
With the help of the two horses we had captured, to carry our sick with
us, we went to Hot Springs. We easily found Victoria and his band, and
they gave us supplies for the winter. We stayed with them for about a
year, and during this stay we had perfect peace. We had not the least
trouble with Mexicans, white men, or Indians. When we had stayed as long
as we should, and had again accumulated some supplies, we decided to
leave Victoria's band. When I told him that we were going to leave he
said that we should have a feast and dance before we separated.

The festivities were held about two miles above Hot Springs, and lasted
for four days. There were about four hundred Indians at this
celebration. I do not think we ever spent a more pleasant time than upon
this occasion. No one ever treated our tribe more kindly than Victoria
and his band. We are still proud to say that he and his people were our

When I went to Apache Pass (Fort Bowie) I found General Howard[30] in
command, and made a treaty with him. This treaty lasted until long after
General Howard had left our country. He always kept his word with us and
treated us as brothers. We never had so good a friend among the United
States officers as General Howard. We could have lived forever at peace
with him. If there is any pure, honest white man in the United States
army, that man is General Howard. All the Indians respect him, and even
to this day frequently talk of the happy times when General Howard was
in command of our Post. After he went away he placed an agent at Apache
Pass who issued to us from the Government clothing, rations, and
supplies, as General Howard directed. When beef was issued to the
Indians I got twelve steers for my tribe, and Cochise got twelve steers
for his tribe. Rations were issued about once a month, but if we ran out
we only had to ask and we were supplied. Now, as prisoners of war in
this Reservation, we do not get such good rations.[31]

Out on the prairie away from Apache Pass a man kept a store and saloon.
Some time after General Howard went away a band of outlawed Indians
killed this man, and took away many of the supplies from his store. On
the very next day after this some Indians at the Post were drunk on
"tiswin," which they had made from corn. They fought among themselves
and four of them were killed. There had been quarrels and feuds among
them for some time, and after this trouble we deemed it impossible to
keep the different bands together in peace. Therefore we separated, each
leader taking his own band. Some of them went to San Carlos and some to
Old Mexico, but I took my tribe back to Hot Springs and rejoined
Victoria's band.


[30] General O. O. Howard was not in command, but had been sent by
President Grant, in 1872, to make peace with the Apache Indians. The
general wrote me from Burlington, Vt., under date of June 12, 1906, that
he remembered the treaty, and that he also remembered with much
satisfaction subsequently meeting Geronimo.--EDITOR.

[31] They do not receive full rations now, as they did then.



Soon after we arrived in New Mexico two companies of scouts were sent
from San Carlos. When they came to Hot Springs they sent word for me and
Victoria to come to town. The messengers did not say what they wanted
with us, but as they seemed friendly we thought they wanted a council,
and rode in to meet the officers. As soon as we arrived in town soldiers
met us, disarmed us, and took us both to headquarters, where we were
tried by court-martial. They asked us only a few questions and then
Victoria was released and I was sentenced to the guardhouse. Scouts
conducted me to the guardhouse and put me in chains. When I asked them
why they did this they said it was because I had left Apache Pass.

I do not think that I ever belonged to those soldiers at Apache Pass,
or that I should have asked them where I might go. Our bands could no
longer live in peace[32] together, and so we had quietly withdrawn,
expecting to live with Victoria's band, where we thought we would not be
molested. They also sentenced seven other Apaches to chains in the

I do not know why this was done, for these Indians had simply followed
me from Apache Pass to Hot Springs. If it was wrong (and I do not think
it was wrong) for us to go to Hot Springs, I alone was to blame. They
asked the soldiers in charge why they were imprisoned and chained, but
received no answer.

I was kept a prisoner for four months, during which time I was
transferred to San Carlos. Then I think I had another trial, although I
was not present. In fact I do not know that I had another trial, but I
was told that I had, and at any rate I was released.

After this we had no more trouble with the soldiers, but I never felt at
ease any longer at the Post. We were allowed to live above San Carlos at
a place now called Geronimo. A man whom the Indians called "Nick Golee"
was agent at this place. All went well here for a period of two years,
but we were not satisfied.

In the summer of 1883 a rumor was current that the officers were again
planning to imprison our leaders. This rumor served to revive the memory
of all our past wrongs--the massacre in the tent at Apache Pass, the
fate of Mangus-Colorado, and my own unjust imprisonment, which might
easily have been death to me. Just at this time we were told that the
officers wanted us to come up the river above Geronimo to a fort (Fort
Thomas) to hold a council with them. We did not believe that any good
could come of this conference, or that there was any need of it; so we
held a council ourselves, and fearing treachery, decided to leave the
reservation. We thought it more manly to die on the warpath than to be
killed in prison.

There were in all about 250 Indians, chiefly the Bedonkohe and Nedni
Apaches, led by myself and Whoa. We went through Apache Pass and just
west of there had a fight with the United States troops. In this battle
we killed three soldiers and lost none.

We went on toward Old Mexico, but on the second day after this United
States soldiers overtook us about three o'clock in the afternoon and we
fought until dark. The ground where we were attacked was very rough,
which was to our advantage, for the troops were compelled to dismount in
order to fight us. I do not know how many soldiers we killed, but we
lost only one warrior and three children. We had plenty of guns and
ammunition at this time. Many of the guns and much ammunition we had
accumulated while living in the reservation, and the remainder we had
obtained from the White Mountain Apaches when we left the reservation.

Troops did not follow us any longer, so we went south almost to Casa
Grande and camped in the Sierra de Sahuaripa Mountains. We ranged in the
mountains of Old Mexico for about a year, then returned to San Carlos,
taking with us a herd of cattle and horses.

Soon after we arrived at San Carlos the officer in charge, General
Crook, took the horses and cattle away from us. I told him that these
were not white men's cattle, but belonged to us, for we had taken them
from the Mexicans during our wars. I also told him that we did not
intend to kill these animals, but that we wished to keep them and raise
stock on our range. He would not listen to me, but took the stock. I
went up near Fort Apache and General Crook ordered officers, soldiers,
and scouts to see that I was arrested; if I offered resistance they were
instructed to kill me.

This information was brought to me by the Indians. When I learned of
this proposed action I left for Old Mexico, and about four hundred
Indians went with me. They were the Bedonkohe, Chokonen, and Nedni
Apaches. At this time Whoa was dead, and Naiche was the only chief with
me. We went south into Sonora and camped in the mountains. Troops
followed us, but did not attack us until we were camped in the mountains
west of Casa Grande. Here we were attacked by Government Indian scouts.
One boy was killed and nearly all of our women and children were

After this battle we went south of Casa Grande and made a camp, but
within a few days this camp was attacked by Mexican soldiers. We
skirmished with them all day, killing a few Mexicans, but sustaining no
loss ourselves.

That night we went east into the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains
and made another camp. Mexican troops trailed us, and after a few days
attacked our camp again. This time the Mexicans had a very large army,
and we avoided a general engagement. It is senseless to fight when you
cannot hope to win.

That night we held a council of war; our scouts had reported bands of
United States and Mexican troops at many points in the mountains. We
estimated that about two thousand soldiers were ranging these mountains
seeking to capture us.

General Crook had come down into Mexico with the United States troops.
They were camped in the Sierra de Antunez Mountains. Scouts told me that
General Crook wished to see me and I went to his camp. When I arrived
General Crook said to me, "Why did you leave the reservation?" I said:
"You told me that I might live in the reservation the same as white
people lived. One year I raised a crop of corn, and gathered and stored
it, and the next year I put in a crop of oats, and when the crop was
almost ready to harvest, you told your soldiers to put me in prison, and
if I resisted to kill me. If I had been let alone I would now have been
in good circumstances, but instead of that you and the Mexicans are
hunting me with soldiers." He said: "I never gave any such orders; the
troops at Fort Apache, who spread this report, knew that it was untrue."
Then I agreed to go back with him to San Carlos.

It was hard for me to believe him at that time. Now I know that what he
said was untrue,[34] and I firmly believe that he did issue the orders
for me to be put in prison, or to be killed in case I offered


[32] Victoria, chief of the Hot Spring Apaches, met his death in
opposing the forcible removal of his band to a reservation, because
having previously tried and failed he felt it impossible for separate
bands of Apaches to live at peace under such arrangement.

[33] Geronimo's whole family, excepting his eldest son, a warrior, were

[34] Geronimo's exact words, for which the Editor disclaims any



We started with all our tribe to go with General Crook back to the
United States, but I feared treachery and decided to remain in Mexico.
We were not under any guard at this time. The United States troops
marched in front and the Indians followed, and when we became
suspicious, we turned back. I do not know how far the United States army
went after myself, and some warriors turned back before we were missed,
and I do not care.

I have suffered much from such unjust orders as those of General Crook.
Such acts have caused much distress to my people. I think that General
Crook's death[35] was sent by the Almighty as a punishment for the many
evil deeds he committed.

Soon General Miles was made commander of all the western posts, and
troops trailed us continually. They were led by Captain Lawton, who had
good scouts. The Mexican[36] soldiers also became more active and more
numerous. We had skirmishes almost every day, and so we finally decided
to break up into small bands. With six men and four women I made for the
range of mountains near Hot Springs, New Mexico. We passed many cattle
ranches, but had no trouble with the cowboys. We killed cattle to eat
whenever we were in need of food, but we frequently suffered greatly for
water. At one time we had no water for two days and nights and our
horses almost died from thirst. We ranged in the mountains of New Mexico
for some time, then thinking that perhaps the troops had left Mexico,
we returned. On our return through Old Mexico we attacked every Mexican
found, even if for no other reason than to kill. We believed they had
asked the United States troops to come down to Mexico to fight us.

South of Casa Grande, near a place called by the Indians Gosoda, there
was a road leading out from the town. There was much freighting carried
on by the Mexicans over this road. Where the road ran through a mountain
pass we stayed in hiding, and whenever Mexican freighters passed we
killed them, took what supplies we wanted, and destroyed the remainder.
We were reckless of our lives, because we felt that every man's hand was
against us. If we returned to the reservation we would be put in prison
and killed; if we stayed in Mexico they would continue to send soldiers
to fight us; so we gave no quarter to anyone and asked no favors.

After some time we left Gosoda and soon were reunited with our tribe in
the Sierra de Antunez Mountains.

Contrary to our expectations the United States soldiers had not left the
mountains in Mexico, and were soon trailing us and skirmishing with us
almost every day. Four or five times they surprised our camp. One time
they surprised us about nine o'clock in the morning, and captured all
our horses[37] (nineteen in number) and secured our store of dried
meats. We also lost three Indians in this encounter. About the middle of
the afternoon of the same day we attacked them from the rear as they
were passing through a prairie--killed one soldier, but lost none
ourselves. In this skirmish we recovered all our horses except three
that belonged to me. The three horses that we did not recover were the
best riding horses we had.

Soon after this we made a treaty with the Mexican troops. They told us
that the United States troops were the real cause of these wars, and
agreed not to fight any more with us provided we would return to the
United States. This we agreed to do, and resumed our march, expecting to
try to make a treaty with the United States soldiers and return to
Arizona. There seemed to be no other course to pursue.

Soon after this scouts from Captain Lawton's troops told us that he
wished to make a treaty with us; but I knew that General Miles was the
chief of the American troops, and I decided to treat with him.

We continued to move our camp northward, and the American troops also
moved northward,[38] keeping at no great distance from us, but not
attacking us.

I sent my brother Porico (White Horse) with Mr. George Wratton on to
Fort Bowie to see General Miles, and to tell him that we wished to
return to Arizona; but before these messengers returned I met two Indian
scouts--Kayitah, a Chokonen Apache, and Marteen, a Nedni Apache. They
were serving as scouts for Captain Lawton's troops. They told me that
General Miles had come and had sent them to ask me to meet him. So I
went to the camp of the United States troops to meet General Miles.

When I arrived at their camp I went directly to General Miles and told
him how I had been wronged, and that I wanted to return to the United
States with my people, as we wished to see our families, who had been
captured[39] and taken away from us.

General Miles said to me: "The President of the United States has sent
me to speak to you. He has heard of your trouble with the white men, and
says that if you will agree to a few words of treaty we need have no
more trouble. Geronimo, if you will agree to a few words of treaty all
will be satisfactorily arranged."

[Illustration: GOTEBO War Chief, Kiowa Indians]

So General Miles told me how we could be brothers to each other. We
raised our hands to heaven and said that the treaty was not to be
broken. We took an oath not to do any wrong to each other or to scheme
against each other.

Then he talked with me for a long time and told me what he would do for
me in the future if I would agree to the treaty. I did not greatly
believe General Miles, but because the President of the United States
had sent me word I agreed to make the treaty, and to keep it. Then I
asked General Miles what the treaty would be. General Miles said to
me:[40] "I will take you under Government protection; I will build you a
house; I will fence you much land; I will give you cattle, horses,
mules, and farming implements. You will be furnished with men to work
the farm, for you yourself will not have to work. In the fall I will
send you blankets and clothing so that you will not suffer from cold in
the winter time.

"There is plenty of timber, water, and grass in the land to which I will
send you. You will live with your tribe and with your family. If you
agree to this treaty you shall see your family within five days."

I said to General Miles: "All the officers that have been in charge of
the Indians have talked that way, and it sounds like a story to me; I
hardly believe you."

He said: "This time it is the truth."

I said: "General Miles, I do not know the laws of the white man, nor of
this new country where you are to send me, and I might break their

He said: "While I live you will not be arrested."

Then I agreed to make the treaty. (Since I have been a prisoner of war I
have been arrested and placed in the guardhouse twice for drinking

We stood between his troopers and my warriors. We placed a large stone
on the blanket before us. Our treaty was made by this stone, and it was
to last until the stone should crumble to dust; so we made the treaty,
and bound each other with an oath.

I do not believe that I have ever violated that treaty; but General
Miles[41] never fulfilled his promises.

When we had made the treaty General Miles said to me: "My brother, you
have in your mind how you are going to kill men, and other thoughts of
war; I want you to put that out of your mind, and change your thoughts
to peace."

Then I agreed and gave up my arms. I said: "I will quit the warpath and
live at peace hereafter."

Then General Miles swept a spot of ground clear with his hand, and said:
"Your past deeds shall be wiped out like this and you will start a new


[35] These are the exact words of Geronimo. The Editor is not
responsible for this criticism of General Crook.

[36] Governor Torres of Sonora had agreed to coperate with our troops
in exterminating or capturing this tribe.

[37] Captain Lawton reports officially the same engagement, but makes no
mention of the recapture (by the Apaches) of the horses.

[38] See note page 142.

[39] See page 136.

[40] For terms of treaty see page 154.

[41] The criticisms of General Miles in the foregoing chapter are from
Geronimo, not from the Editor.



On February 11, 1887, the Senate passed the following resolution:

"RESOLVED, That the Secretary of War be directed to communicate to the
Senate all dispatches of General Miles referring to the surrender of
Geronimo, and all instructions given to and correspondence with General
Miles in reference to the same." These papers are published in the
Senate Executive Documents, Second Session, 49th Congress, 1886-7,
Volume II, Nos. 111 to 125. For an exhaustive account of the conditions
of Geronimo's surrender the reader is referred to that document, but
this chapter is given to show briefly the terms of surrender, and
corroborate, at least in part, the statements made by Geronimo.

Upon assuming command of the Department of Arizona, General Nelson A.
Miles was directed by the War Department to use most vigorous operations
for the destruction or capture of the hostile Apaches.

The following extracts are from instructions issued April 20th, 1886,
for the information and guidance of troops serving in the southern
portion of Arizona and New Mexico.

     "The chief object of the troops will be to capture or destroy any
     band of hostile Apache Indians found in this section of country,
     and to this end the most vigorous and persistent efforts will be
     required of all officers and soldiers until the object is

            *       *       *       *       *

     "A sufficient number of reliable Indians will be used as
     auxiliaries to discover any signs of hostile Indians, and as

            *       *       *       *       *

     "To avoid any advantage the Indians may have by a relay of horses,
     where a troop or squadron commander is near the hostile Indians he
     will be justified in dismounting one-half of his command and
     selecting the lightest and best riders to make pursuit by the most
     vigorous forced marches until the strength of all the animals of
     his command shall have been exhausted."

            *       *       *       *       *

The following telegrams show the efforts of the United States troops and
the coperation of Mexican troops under Governor Torres:

July 22, 1886.

Washington, D. C.:

     "The following telegram just received from General Miles:

     "'Captain Lawton reports, through Colonel Royall, commanding at
     Fort Huachuca, that his camp surprised Geronimo's camp on Yongi
     River, about 130 miles south and east of Campas, Sonora, or nearly
     300 miles south of Mexican boundary, capturing all the Indian
     property, including hundreds of pounds of dried meat and nineteen
     riding animals. This is the fifth time within three months in which
     the Indians have been surprised by the troops. While the results
     have not been decisive, yet it has given encouragement to the
     troops, and has reduced the numbers and strength of the Indians,
     and given them a feeling of insecurity even in the remote and
     almost inaccessible mountains of Old Mexico.'

"In absence of division commander.
Assistant Adjutant General."

       *       *       *       *       *

August 19, 1886.

Washington, D. C.:

     "Following received from General Miles, dated 18th:

     "'Dispatches to-day from Governor Torres, dated Hermosillo, Sonora,
     Mexico, from Colonels Forsyth and Beaumont, commanding Huachuca and
     Bowie districts, confirms the following: Geronimo with forty
     Indians is endeavoring to make terms of peace with Mexican
     authorities of Fronteraz district. One of our scouts, in returning
     to Fort Huachuca from Lawton's command, met him, Naiche, and
     thirteen other Indians on their way to Fronteraz; had a long
     conversation with them; they said they wanted to make peace, and
     looked worn and hungry. Geronimo carried his right arm in a sling,
     bandaged. The splendid work of the troops is evidently having good
     effect. Should hostiles not surrender to the Mexican authorities,
     Lawton's command is south of them, and Wilder, with G and M troops,
     Fourth Cavalry, moved south to Fronteraz, and will be there by
     20th. Lieutenant Lockett, with an effective command, will be in
     good position to-morrow, near Guadalupe Caon, in Cajon Bonito
     Mountains. On the 11th I had a very satisfactory interview with
     Governor Torres. The Mexican officials are acting in concert with

Major General."

[Illustration: KAYTAH NAHTEEN Apache Scouts who were with Gen. Lawton]

General O. O. Howard telegraphed from Presidio, San Francisco,
California, September 24, 1886, as follows:

     " ... The 6th of September General Miles reports the hostile
     Apaches made overtures of surrender, through Lieutenant Gatewood,
     to Captain Lawton. They desired certain terms and sent two
     messengers to me (Miles). They were informed that they must
     surrender as prisoners of war to troops in the field. They promised
     to surrender to me in person, and for eleven days Captain Lawton's
     command moved north, Geronimo and Naiche moving parallel and
     frequently camping near it.... At Skeleton Caon they halted,
     saying that they desired to see me (Miles) before surrendering."

After Miles's arrival he reports as follows:

     "Geronimo came from his mountain camp amid the rocks and said he
     was willing to surrender. He was told that they could surrender as
     prisoners of war; that it was not the way of officers of the Army
     to kill their enemies who laid down their arms."

     " ... Naiche was wild and suspicious and evidently feared
     treachery. He knew that the once noted leader, Mangus-Colorado,
     had, years ago, been foully murdered after he had surrendered, and
     the last hereditary chief of the hostile Apaches hesitated to
     place himself in the hands of the palefaces...."

Continuing his report, General Howard says:

     " ... I believed at first from official reports that the surrender
     was unconditional, except that the troops themselves would not kill
     the hostiles. Now, from General Miles's dispatches and from his
     annual report, forwarded on the 21st instant by mail, the
     conditions are plain: First, that the lives of all the Indians
     should be spared. Second, that they should be sent to Fort Marion,
     Florida, where their tribe, including their families, had already
     been ordered...."

D. S. Stanley, Brigadier General, telegraphs from San Antonio, Texas,
October 22, 1886, as follows:

     " ... Geronimo and Naiche requested an interview with me when they
     first ascertained that they were to leave here, and in talking to
     them, I told them the exact disposition that was to be made of
     them. They regarded the separation of themselves from their
     families as a violation of the terms of their treaty of surrender,
     by which they had been guaranteed, in the most positive manner
     conceivable to their minds, that they should be united with their
     families at Fort Marion.

     "There were present at the talk they had with me Major J. P.
     Wright, surgeon, United States Army; Captain J. G. Ballance, acting
     Judge-advocate, United States Army; George Wratton,[42] the
     interpreter; Naiche, and Geronimo.

     "The Indians were separated from their families at this place; the
     women, children, and the two scouts were placed in a separate car
     before they left.

     "In an interview with me they stated the following incident, which
     they regard as an essential part of their treaty of surrender, and
     which took place at Skeleton Caon before they had, as a band, made
     up their minds to surrender, and before any of them, except perhaps
     Geronimo, had given up their arms, and when they were still fully
     able to escape and defend themselves.

     "General Miles said to them: 'You go with me to Fort Bowie and at a
     certain time you will go to see your relatives in Florida.' After
     they went to Fort Bowie he reassured them that they would see their
     relatives in Florida in four and a half or five days.

     "While at Skeleton Caon General Miles said to them: 'I have come
     to have a talk with you.' The conversation was interpreted from
     English into Spanish and from Spanish into Apache and _vice versa_.
     The interpreting from English into Spanish was done by a man by
     the name of Nelson. The interpreting from Spanish into Apache was
     done by Jos Maria Yaskes. Jos Maria Montoya was also present, but
     he did not do any of the interpreting.

     "Dr. Wood, United States Army, and Lieutenant Clay, Tenth Infantry,
     were present.

     "General Miles drew a line on the ground and said, 'This represents
     the ocean,' and, putting a small rock beside the line, he said,
     'This represents the place where Chihuahua is with his band.' He
     then picked up another stone and placed it a short distance from
     the first, and said, 'This represents you, Geronimo.' He then
     picked up a third stone and placed it a little distance from the
     others, and said, 'This represents the Indians at Camp Apache. The
     President wants to take you and put you with Chihuahua.' He then
     picked up the stone which represented Geronimo and his band and
     put it beside the one which represented Chihuahua at Fort Marion.
     After doing this he picked up the stone which represented the
     Indians at Camp Apache and placed it beside the other two stones
     which represented Geronimo and Chihuahua at Fort Marion, and said,
     'That is what the President wants to do, get all of you together.'

     "After their arrival at Fort Bowie General Miles said to them,
     'From now on we want to begin a new life,' and holding up one of
     his hands with the palm open and horizontal he marked lines across
     it with the finger of the other hand and said, pointing to his open
     palm, 'This represents the past; it is all covered with hollows and
     ridges,' then, rubbing his other palm over it, he said, 'That
     represents the wiping out of the past, which will be considered
     smooth and forgotten.'

     "The interpreter, Wratton, says that he was present and heard this
     conversation. The Indians say that Captain Thompson, Fourth
     Cavalry, was also present.

     "Naiche said that Captain Thompson, who was the acting assistant
     adjutant general, Department of Arizona, told him at his house in
     Fort Bowie, 'Don't be afraid; no harm shall come to you. You will
     go to your friends all right.' He also told them 'that Fort Marion
     is not a very large place, and is not probably large enough for
     all, and that probably in six months or so you will be put in a
     larger place, where you can do better.' He told them the same thing
     when they took their departure in the cars from Fort Bowie.

     "The idea that they had of the treaty of surrender given in this
     letter is forwarded at their desire, and, while not desiring to
     comment on the matter, I feel compelled to say that my knowledge of
     the Indian character, and the experience I have had with Indians of
     all kinds, and the corroborating circumstances and facts that have
     been brought to my notice in this particular case, convince me that
     the foregoing statement of Naiche and Geronimo is substantially

[Illustration: EMMA TUKLONEN]

Extract from the annual report (1886) of the Division of the Pacific,
commanded by Major General O. O. Howard, U. S. Army.

September 17, 1886.

U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

     "GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report upon
     military operations and the condition of the Division of the
     Pacific for the information of the Lieutenant General, and to make
     some suggestions for his consideration:

            *       *       *       *       *

     "On the 17th of May, 1885, a party of about fifty of the Chiricahua
     prisoners, headed by Geronimo, Naiche, and other chiefs, escaped
     from the White Mountain Reserve, in Arizona, and entered upon a
     career of murder and robbery unparalleled in the history of Indian

     "Since then, and up to the time of my assuming command of this
     division, they had been pursued by troops with varying success.

     "After the assassination of Captain Crawford, on January 11, by the
     Mexicans, the hostiles asked for a 'talk,' and finally had a
     conference on March 25, 26, and 27, with General Crook, in the
     Caon of Los Embudos, 25 miles south of San Bernardino, Mexico, on
     which latter date it was arranged that they should be conducted by
     Lieutenant Manus, with his battalion of scouts, to Fort Bowie,

     "The march commenced on the morning of March 28 and proceeded until
     the night of the 29th, when, becoming excited with fears of
     possible punishment, Geronimo and Naiche, with twenty men,
     fourteen women, and two boys, stampeded to the hills. Lieutenant
     Manus immediately pursued, but without success.

            *       *       *       *       *

     "Simultaneously with my taking command of the division Brigadier
     General Crook was relieved by Brigadier General Miles, who at once
     set out to complete the task commenced by his predecessor.

     "Geronimo and his band were committing depredations, now in the
     United States and now in Mexico, and, being separated into small
     parties, easily eluded the troops, and carried on their work of
     murder and outrage.

     "Early in May General Miles organized the hostile field of
     operations into districts, each with its command of troops, with
     specific instructions to guard the water holes, to cover the entire
     ground by scouting parties, and give the hostiles no rest.

     "An effective command, under Captain Lawton, Fourth Cavalry, was
     organized for a long pursuit.

     "On May 3 Captain Lebo, Tenth Cavalry, had a fight with Geronimo's
     band 12 miles southwest of Santa Cruz, in Mexico, with a loss of
     one soldier killed and one wounded. After this fight the Indians
     retreated southward followed by three troops of cavalry.

     "On May 12 a serious fight of Mexican troops with the hostiles near
     Planchos, Mexico, resulted in a partial defeat of the Mexicans.

     "On May 15 Captain Hatfield's command engaged Geronimo's band in
     the Corrona Mountains, suffering a loss of two killed and three
     wounded, and the loss of several horses and mules, the Indians
     losing several killed.

     "On May 16 Lieutenant Brown, Fourth Cavalry, struck the hostiles
     near Buena Vista, Mexico, capturing several horses, rifles, and a
     quantity of ammunition.

     "The usual series of outrages, with fatiguing chase by troops,
     continued until June 21, when the Mexicans engaged the hostiles
     about 40 miles southeast of Magdalena, Mexico, and after a stubborn
     fight repulsed them....

            *       *       *       *       *

     "About the middle of August Geronimo and his band were so reduced
     and harassed by the tireless pursuit of the soldiers that they made
     offer of surrender to the Mexicans, but without coming to terms.

     "Their locality thus being definitely known, disposition of the
     troops was rapidly made to act in conjunction with the Mexicans to
     intercept Geronimo and force his surrender.

     "On August 25 Geronimo, when near Fronteraz, Mexico, recognizing
     that he was pretty well surrounded, and being out of ammunition and
     food, made overtures of capitulation, through Lieutenant Gatewood,
     Sixth Cavalry, to Captain Lawton. He desired certain terms, but
     was informed that a surrender as prisoner of war was all that would
     be accepted.

     "The Indians then proceeded to the vicinity of Captain Lawton's
     command, near Skeleton Caon, and sent word that they wished to see
     General Miles.

     "On September 3 General Miles arrived at Lawton's camp, and on
     September 4 Naiche, the son of Cochise, and the hereditary chief of
     the Apaches, with Geronimo surrendered all the hostiles, with the
     understanding, it seems, that they should be sent out of Arizona.

     "I am not informed of the exact nature of this surrender, at first
     deemed unconditional....

            *       *       *       *       *

     "I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

"Major General, United States Army."

_Statement of W. T. Melton, Anadarko, Oklahoma._

From 1882 to 1887 I lived in southern Arizona, and was employed by the
Sansimone Cattle Company.

In 1886 I was stationed in Skeleton Caon, about 10 miles north of the
boundary line between Arizona and Old Mexico, with J. D. Prewitt. It was
our duty to ride the lines south of our range and keep the cattle of the
Company from straying into Old Mexico.

One afternoon, when returning from our ride, we discovered an Indian
trail leading toward our camp. We rode hurriedly out of the hills into a
broad valley so that we could better discover any attacking parties of
Apaches and if assailed have at least a fighting chance for our lives.
We knew the Apaches under Geronimo were on the warpath, but they were
far down in Old Mexico. However, our knowledge of the Indians led us to
expect anything at any time--to always be ready for the worst.

When we reached the valley we struck a cavalry trail also headed for our
camp. This was perplexing, for neither the Indians nor the soldiers
seemed to have been riding fast, and both trails led toward our camp in
Skeleton Caon. This caon was a natural route from Old Mexico to
Arizona, and almost all bands of Indians, as well as detachments of
United States troops, passed and repassed through this valley when going
to Old Mexico or returning therefrom, but never before had two hostile
bands passed through here at the same time and traveling in the same
direction, except when one fled and the other pursued. What this could
mean was a mystery to us. Could it be that the troops had not seen the
Indians? Were the redskins trying to head the troops off and attack them
in their camp? Were the troops hunting for those Indians? Could this be
Lawton's command? Could that be Geronimo's band? No, it was impossible.
Then who were these troops and what Indians were those?

Cautiously we rode to our camp, and nailed on the door of our cabin was
this notice:


     "CAPT. LAWTON."

Then we understood.

A short distance above our cabin we found the camp of the troops and we
had just finished talking with Captain Lawton, who advised us to remain
in his camp rather than risk staying alone in our cabin, when up rode
the chief, Geronimo. He was mounted on a blaze-faced, white-stockinged
dun horse.

He came directly to Captain Lawton and through an interpreter asked who
we were and what we wanted.

As soon as the explanation was given he nodded his approval and rode

Prewitt and I rode away with him. We were well armed and well mounted
and Geronimo was well mounted, but so far as we could see unarmed. I
tried to talk with the chief (in English), but could not make him
understand. Prewitt wanted to shoot[43] him and said he could easily
kill him the first shot, but I objected and succeeded in restraining
him. While we were arguing the chief rode silently between us, evidently
feeling perfectly secure. All this time we had been riding in the
direction of our horses that were grazing in the valley about a mile
distant from our corral. When we came to a place about a half mile from
Lawton's camp, where a spur of the mountain ran far out into the valley,
Geronimo turned aside, saluted, said in fairly good Spanish, "_Adios,
Seors_," and began to ascend a mountain path. Later we learned that he
was going directly toward his camp far up among the rocks. We rode on,
drove our horses back to the corral and remained in our cabin all night,
but were not molested by the Indians.

The next day we killed three beeves for the Indians, and they were paid
for by Captain Lawton. On the second day two mounted Mexican scouts came
to Lawton's camp. As soon as these Mexicans came in sight the Indians
seized their arms and vanished, as it were, among the rocks.

Captain Lawton wrote an account of conditions and delivered it to the
Mexicans, who withdrew. After they had gone and their mission had been
explained to Geronimo the Indians again returned to their camp and laid
down their arms.

On the next day word reached camp that General Miles was approaching and
the Indians again armed and disappeared among the rocks. (Many of the
Apache squaws had field glasses[44] and were stationed every day on
prominent mountain peaks to keep a lookout. No one could approach their
camp or Lawton's camp without being discovered by these spies.)

Soon after General Miles joined Lawton's command Geronimo rode into camp
unarmed, and dismounting approached General Miles, shook hands with him,
and then stood proudly before the officers waiting for General Miles to
begin conversation with him.

The interpreter said to Geronimo, "General Miles is your friend."
Geronimo said, "I never saw him, but I have been in need of friends. Why
has he not been with me?" When this answer was interpreted everybody
laughed. After this there was no more formality and without delay the
discussion of the treaty was begun. All I remember distinctly of the
treaty is that Geronimo and his band were not to be killed, but they
were to be taken to their families.

[Illustration: W. F. MELTON

At whose camp in Skeleton Caon Geronimo surrendered]

I remember this more distinctly, because the Indians were so much
pleased with this particular one of the terms of the treaty.

Geronimo, Naiche, and a few others went on ahead with General Miles, but
the main band of Indians left under the escort of Lawton's troops.

The night before they left, a young squaw, daughter-in-law of Geronimo,
gave birth to a child. The next morning the husband, Geronimo's son,
carried the child, but the mother mounted her pony unaided and rode away
unassisted--a prisoner of war under military escort.

On the afternoon of the day of the treaty Captain Lawton built a
monument (about ten feet across and six feet high) of rough stones at
the spot where the treaty was made. The next year some cowboys on a
round-up camped at the place, and tore down the monument to see what was
in it. All they found was a bottle containing a piece of paper upon
which was written the names of the officers who were with Lawton.

After the Indians left we found one hundred and fifty dollars and
twenty-five cents ($150.25) in Mexican money hidden in a rat's nest[45]
near where the Indians had camped.

About ten o'clock on the morning after the Apaches and soldiers had gone
away twenty Pimos Indians, accompanied by one white man, surrounded our
camp and demanded to know of Geronimo's whereabouts. We told them of the
treaty and they followed the trail on toward Fort Bowie.

That afternoon, thinking all danger from Apaches past, my partner,
Prewitt, went to ride the lines and I was left in camp alone. I was
pumping water (by horse-power) at the well, when I saw three Indians
rounding up our horses about half a mile away. They saw me but did not
disturb me, nor did I interfere with them, but as soon as they had
driven that bunch of horses northward over the hill out of sight I rode
quickly off in another direction and drove another bunch of horses into
the corral. The rest of the afternoon I stayed in camp, but saw no more

The next day we rode over the hill in the direction these Indians had
gone and found that they had camped not three miles away. There were
evidently several in the party and they had kept scouts concealed near
the top of the hill to watch me, and to shoot me from ambush had I
followed them. This we knew because we saw behind some rocks at the
crest of the hill in the loose soil the imprints left by the bodies of
three warriors where they had been lying down in concealment.

At their camp we found the head and hoofs of my favorite horse,
"Digger," a fine little sorrel pony, and knew that he had served them
for dinner. We followed their trail far into Old Mexico, but did not
overtake them. We had been accustomed to say "it was Geronimo's band,"
whenever any depredation was committed, but this time we were not so

       *       *       *       *       *

We do not wish to express our own opinion, but to ask the reader
whether, after having had the testimony of Apaches, soldiers, and
civilians, who knew the conditions of surrender, and, after having
examined carefully the testimony offered, it would be possible to
conclude that Geronimo made an unconditional surrender?

Before passing from this subject it would be well also to consider
whether our Government has treated these prisoners in strict accordance
with the terms of the treaty made in Skeleton Caon.


[42] Mr. George Wratton is now at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, acting as
Superintendent of Apaches. He has been with the Apaches as interpreter
and superintendent since their surrender.

[43] Recently Mr. Melton told Geronimo of this conversation. The wily
old chief laughed shyly and said, "What if Prewitt's pistol had been
knocked out of his hand? Other men have tried to shoot me and at least
some of them failed. But I'm glad he didn't try it."

[44] These field glasses were taken from soldiers and officers (Mexicans
and Americans) whom the Apaches had killed.

[45] This was a stick nest built on top of the ground by a species of
woods rat.



When I had given up to the Government they put me on the Southern
Pacific Railroad and took me to San Antonio, Texas, and held me to be
tried by their laws.

In forty days they took me from there to Fort Pickens (Pensacola),
Florida. Here they put me to sawing up large logs. There were several
other Apache warriors with me, and all of us had to work every day. For
nearly two years we were kept at hard labor in this place and we did not
see our families until May, 1887. This treatment was in direct violation
of our treaty made at Skeleton Caon.

After this we were sent with our families to Vermont, Alabama, where we
stayed five years and worked for the Government. We had no property,
and I looked in vain for General Miles to send me to that land of which
he had spoken; I longed in vain for the implements, house, and stock
that General Miles had promised me.

During this time one of my warriors, Fun, killed himself and his wife.
Another one shot his wife and then shot himself. He fell dead, but the
woman recovered and is still living.

We were not healthy in this place, for the climate disagreed with us. So
many of our people died that I consented to let one of my wives go to
the Mescalero Agency in New Mexico to live. This separation is according
to our custom equivalent to what the white people call divorce, and so
she married again soon after she got to Mescalero. She also kept our two
small children, which she had a right to do. The children, Lenna and
Robbie, are still living at Mescalero, New Mexico. Lenna is married. I
kept one wife, but she is dead now and I have only our daughter Eva
with me. Since my separation from Lenna's mother I have never had more
than one wife at a time. Since the death of Eva's mother I married
another woman (December, 1905) but we could not live happily and
separated. She went home to her people--that is an Apache divorce.

Then,[46] as now, Mr. George Wratton superintended the Indians. He has
always had trouble with the Indians, because he has mistreated them. One
day an Indian, while drunk, stabbed Mr. Wratton with a little knife. The
officer in charge took the part of Mr. Wratton and the Indian was sent
to prison.

When[47] we first came to Fort Sill, Captain Scott was in charge, and he
had houses built for us by the Government. We were also given, from the
Government, cattle, hogs, turkeys and chickens. The Indians did not do
much good with the hogs, because they did not understand how to care for
them, and not many Indians even at the present time keep hogs. We did
better with the turkeys and chickens, but with these we did not have as
good luck as white men do. With the cattle we have done very well,
indeed, and we like to raise them. We have a few horses also, and have
had no bad luck with them.

In the matter of selling[48] our stock and grain there has been much
misunderstanding. The Indians understood that the cattle were to be sold
and the money given to them, but instead part of the money is given to
the Indians and part of it is placed in what the officers call the
"Apache Fund." We have had five different officers in charge of the
Indians here and they have all ruled very much alike--not consulting the
Apaches or even explaining to them. It may be that the Government
ordered the officers in charge to put this cattle money into an Apache
fund, for once I complained and told Lieutenant Purington[49] that I
intended to report to the Government that he had taken some of my part
of the cattle money and put it into the Apache Fund, he said he did not
care if I did tell.

Several years ago the issue of clothing ceased. This, too, may have been
by the order of the Government, but the Apaches do not understand it.

If there is an Apache Fund, it should some day be turned over to the
Indians, or at least they should have an account of it, for it is their

When General Miles last visited Fort Sill I asked to be relieved from
labor on account of my age. I also remembered what General Miles had
promised me in the treaty and told him of it. He said I need not work
any more except when I wished to, and since that time I have not been
detailed to do any work. I have worked a great deal, however, since
then, for, although I am old, I like to work[50] and help my people as
much as I am able.


[46] These are not the words of the Editor, but of Geronimo.

[47] They were in Alabama from May, 1888, to October, 1894.

[48] The Indians are not allowed to sell the cattle themselves. When
cattle are ready for market they are sold by the officer in charge, part
of the money paid to the Indians who owned them and part of it placed in
a general (Apache) fund. The supplies, farming implements, etc., for the
Apaches are paid for from this fund.

[49] The criticism of Lieutenant Purington is from Geronimo. The Editor
disclaims any responsibility for it, as in all cases where individuals
are criticised by the old warrior.

[50] Geronimo helps make hay and care for the cattle, but does not
receive orders from the Superintendent of the Indians.






When an Indian has been wronged by a member of his tribe he may, if he
does not wish to settle the difficulty personally, make complaint to the
Chieftain. If he is unable to meet the offending parties in a personal
encounter, and disdains to make complaint, anyone may in his stead
inform the chief of this conduct, and then it becomes necessary to have
an investigation or trial. Both the accused and the accuser are entitled
to witnesses, and their witnesses are not interrupted in any way by
questions, but simply say what they wish to say in regard to the matter.
The witnesses are not placed under oath, because it is not believed that
they will give false testimony in a matter relating to their own people.

The chief of the tribe presides during these trials, but if it is a
serious offense he asks two or three leaders to sit with him. These
simply determine whether or not the man is guilty. If he is not guilty
the matter is ended, and the complaining party has forfeited his right
to take personal vengeance, for if he wishes to take vengeance himself,
he must object to the trial which would prevent it. If the accused is
found guilty the injured party fixes the penalty, which is generally
confirmed by the chief and his associates.

_Adoption of Children_

If any children are left orphans by the usage of war or otherwise, that
is, if both parents are dead, the chief of the tribe may adopt them or
give them away as he desires. In the case of outlawed Indians, they may,
if they wish, take their children with them, but if they leave the
children with the tribe, the chief decides what will be done with them,
but no disgrace attaches to the children.

_"Salt Lake"_

We obtained our salt from a little lake in the Gila Mountains. This is a
very small lake of clear, shallow water, and in the center a small mound
arises above the surface of the water. The water is too salty to drink,
and the bottom of the lake is covered with a brown crust. When this
crust is broken cakes of salt adhere to it. These cakes of salt may be
washed clear in the water of this lake, but if washed in other water
will dissolve.

When visiting this lake our people were not allowed to even kill game or
attack an enemy. All creatures were free to go and come without

_Preparation of a Warrior_

To be admitted as a warrior a youth must have gone with the warriors of
his tribe four separate times on the warpath.

On the first trip he will be given only very inferior food. With this
he must be contented without murmuring. On none of the four trips is he
allowed to select his food as the warriors do, but must eat such food as
he is permitted to have.

On each of these expeditions he acts as servant, cares for the horses,
cooks the food, and does whatever duties he should do without being
told. He knows what things are to be done, and without waiting to be
told is to do them. He is not allowed to speak to any warrior except in
answer to questions or when told to speak.

During these four wars he is expected to learn the sacred names of
everything used in war, for after the tribe enters upon the warpath no
common names are used in referring to anything appertaining to war in
any way. War is a solemn religious matter.

If, after four expeditions, all the warriors are satisfied that the
youth has been industrious, has not spoken out of order, has been
discreet in all things, has shown courage in battle, has borne all
hardships uncomplainingly, and has exhibited no color of cowardice, or
weakness of any kind, he may by vote of the council be admitted as a
warrior; but if any warrior objects to him upon any account he will be
subjected to further tests, and if he meets these courageously, his name
may again be proposed. When he has proven beyond question that he can
bear hardships without complaint, and that he is a stranger to fear, he
is admitted to the council of the warriors in the lowest rank. After
this there is no formal test for promotions, but by common consent he
assumes a station on the battlefield, and if that position is maintained
with honor, he is allowed to keep it, and may be asked, or may
volunteer, to take a higher station, but no warrior would presume to
take a higher station unless he had assurance from the leaders of the
tribe that his conduct in the first position was worthy of

From this point upward the only election by the council in formal
assembly is the election of the chief.

Old men are not allowed to lead in battle, but their advice is always
respected. Old age means loss of physical power and is fatal to active


All dances are considered religious ceremonies and are presided over by
a chief and medicine men. They are of a social or military nature, but
never without some sacred characteristic.

_A Dance of Thanksgiving_

Every summer we would gather the fruit of the yucca, grind and pulverize
it and mold it into cakes; then the tribe would be assembled to feast,
to sing, and to give praises to Usen. Prayers of Thanksgiving were said
by all. When the dance began the leaders bore these cakes and added
words of praise occasionally to the usual tone sounds of the music.


_The War Dance_

After a council of the warriors had deliberated, and had prepared for
the warpath, the dance would be started. In this dance there is the
usual singing led by the warriors and accompanied with the beating of
the "esadadene," but the dancing is more violent, and yells and war
whoops sometimes almost drown the music. Only warriors participated in
this dance.

_Scalp Dance_

After a war party has returned, a modification of the war dance is held.
The warriors who have brought scalps from the battles exhibit them to
the tribe, and when the dance begins these scalps, elevated on poles or
spears, are carried around the camp fires while the dance is in
progress. During this dance there is still some of the solemnity of the
war dance. There are yells and war whoops, frequently accompanied by
discharge of firearms, but there is always more levity than would be
permitted at a war dance. After the scalp dance is over the scalps are
thrown away. No Apache would keep them, for they are considered

_A Social Dance_

In the early part of September, 1905, I announced among the Apaches that
my daughter, Eva, having attained womanhood, should now put away
childish things and assume her station as a young lady. At a dance of
the tribe she would make her dbut, and then, or thereafter, it would be
proper for a warrior to seek her hand in marriage. Accordingly,
invitations were issued to all Apaches, and many Comanches and Kiowas,
to assemble for a grand dance on the green by the south bank of Medicine
Creek, near the village of Naiche, former chief of the Chokonen Apaches,
on the first night of full moon in September. The festivities were to
continue for two days and nights. Nothing was omitted in the preparation
that would contribute to the enjoyment of the guests or the perfection
of the observance of the religious rite.

To make ready for the dancing the grass on a large circular space was
closely mowed.

The singing was led by Chief Naiche, and I, assisted by our medicine
men, directed the dance.

First Eva advanced from among the women and danced once around the camp
fire; then, accompanied by another young woman, she again advanced and
both danced twice around the camp fire; then she and two other young
ladies advanced and danced three times around the camp fire; the next
time she and three other young ladies advanced and danced four times
around the camp fire; this ceremony lasted about one hour. Next the
medicine men entered, stripped to the waist, their bodies painted
fantastically, and danced the sacred dances. They were followed by clown
dancers, who amused the audience greatly.

Then the members of the tribe joined hands and danced in a circle around
the camp fire for a long time. All the friends of the tribe were asked
to take part in this dance, and when it was ended many of the old people
retired, and the "lovers' dance" began.

The warriors stood in the middle of the circle and the ladies,
two-and-two, danced forward and designated some warrior to dance with
them. The dancing was back and forth on a line from the center to the
outer edge of the circle. The warrior faced the two ladies, and when
they danced forward to the center he danced backward: then they danced
backward to the outer edge and he followed facing them. This lasted two
or three hours and then the music changed. Immediately the warriors
assembled again in the center of the circle, and this time each lady
selected a warrior as a partner. The manner of dancing was as before,
only two instead of three danced together. During this dance, which
continued until daylight, the warrior (if dancing with a maiden) could
propose[51] marriage, and if the maiden agreed, he would consult her
father soon afterward and make a bargain for her.

Upon all such occasions as this, when the dance is finished, each
warrior gives a present to the lady who selected him for a partner and
danced with him. If she is satisfied with the present he says good-by,
if not, the matter is referred to someone in authority (medicine man or
chief), who determines the question of what is a proper gift.

For a married lady the value of the present should be two or three
dollars; for a maiden the present should have a value of not less than
five dollars. Often, however, the maiden receives a very valuable

During the "lovers' dance" the medicine men mingle with the dancers to
keep out evil spirits.

Perhaps I shall never again have cause to assemble our people to dance,
but these social dances in the moonlight have been a large part of our
enjoyment in the past, and I think they will not soon be discontinued,
at least I hope not.


[51] Apache warriors do not go "courting" as our youths do. The
associations in the villages afford ample opportunity for acquaintance,
and the arranging for marriages is considered a business transaction,
but the courtesy of consulting the maiden, although not essential, is
considered very polite.



When I was at first asked to attend the St. Louis World's Fair I did not
wish to go. Later, when I was told that I would receive good attention
and protection, and that the President of the United States said that it
would be all right, I consented. I was kept by parties in charge of the
Indian Department, who had obtained permission from the President. I
stayed in this place for six months. I sold my photographs for
twenty-five cents, and was allowed to keep ten cents of this for myself.
I also wrote my name for ten, fifteen, or twenty-five cents, as the case
might be, and kept all of that money. I often made as much as two
dollars a day, and when I returned I had plenty of money--more than I
had ever owned before.

Many people in St. Louis invited me to come to their homes, but my
keeper always refused.

Every Sunday the President of the Fair sent for me to go to a wild west
show. I took part in the roping contests before the audience. There were
many other Indian tribes there, and strange people of whom I had never

When people first came to the World's Fair they did nothing but parade
up and down the streets. When they got tired of this they would visit
the shows. There were many strange things in these shows. The Government
sent guards with me when I went, and I was not allowed to go anywhere
without them.

In one of the shows some strange men[52] with red caps had some peculiar
swords, and they seemed to want to fight. Finally their manager told
them they might fight each other. They tried to hit each other over the
head with these swords, and I expected both to be wounded or perhaps
killed, but neither one was harmed. They would be hard people to kill in
a hand-to-hand fight.

In another show there was a strange-looking negro. The manager tied his
hands fast, then tied him to a chair. He was securely tied, for I looked
myself, and I did not think it was possible for him to get away. Then
the manager told him to get loose.

He twisted in his chair for a moment, and then stood up; the ropes were
still tied, but he was free. I do not understand how this was done. It
was certainly a miraculous power, because no man could have released
himself by his own efforts.

In another place a man was on a platform speaking to the audience; they
set a basket by the side of the platform and covered it with red calico;
then a woman came and got into the basket, and a man covered the basket
again with the calico; then the man who was speaking to the audience
took a long sword and ran it through the basket, each way, and then down
through the cloth cover. I heard the sword cut through the woman's body,
and the manager himself said she was dead; but when the cloth was lifted
from the basket she stepped out, smiled, and walked off the stage. I
would like to know how she was so quickly healed, and why the wounds did
not kill her.

I have never considered bears very intelligent, except in their wild
habits, but I had never before seen a white bear. In one of the shows a
man had a white bear that was as intelligent as a man. He would do
whatever he was told--carry a log on his shoulder, just as a man would;
then, when he was told, would put it down again. He did many other
things, and seemed to know exactly what his keeper said to him. I am
sure that no grizzly bear could be trained to do these things.

[Illustration: MRS. ASA DEKLUGIE

Niece of Geronimo and daughter of Chihuahua, a famous Apache chieftain


Geronimo's youngest daughter, 16 years old]

One time the guards took me into a little house[53] that had four
windows. When we were seated the little house started to move along the
ground. Then the guards called my attention to some curious things they
had in their pockets. Finally they told me to look out, and when I did
so I was scared, for our little house had gone high up in the air, and
the people down in the Fair Grounds looked no larger than ants. The men
laughed at me for being scared; then they gave me a glass to look
through (I often had such glasses which I took from dead officers after
battles in Mexico and elsewhere), and I could see rivers, lakes and
mountains. But I had never been so high in the air, and I tried to look
into the sky. There were no stars, and I could not look at the sun
through this glass because the brightness hurt my eyes. Finally I put
the glass down, and as they were all laughing at me, I too, began to
laugh. Then they said, "Get out!" and when I looked we were on the
street again. After we were safe on the land I watched many of these
little houses going up and coming down, but I cannot understand how they
travel. They are very curious little houses.

One day we went into another show, and as soon as we were in, it changed
into night. It was real night, for I could feel the damp air; soon it
began to thunder, and the lightnings flashed; it was real lightning,
too, for it struck just above our heads. I dodged and wanted to run
away, but I could not tell which way to go in order to get out. The
guards motioned me to keep still, and so I stayed. In front of us were
some strange little people who came out on the platform; then I looked
up again and the clouds were all gone, and I could see the stars
shining. The little people on the platform did not seem in earnest about
anything they did; so I only laughed at them. All the people around
where we sat seemed to be laughing at me.

We went into another place and the manager took us into a little room
that was made like a cage; then everything around us seemed to be
moving; soon the air looked blue, then there were black clouds moving
with the wind. Pretty soon it was clear outside; then we saw a few thin
white clouds; then the clouds grew thicker, and it rained and hailed
with thunder and lightning. Then the thunder retreated and a rainbow
appeared in the distance; then it became dark, the moon rose and
thousands of stars came out. Soon the sun came up, and we got out of the
little room. This was a good show, but it was so strange and unnatural
that I was glad to be on the streets again.

We went into one place where they made glassware. I had always thought
that these things were made by hand, but they are not. The man had a
curious little instrument, and whenever he would blow through this into
a little blaze the glass would take any shape he wanted it to. I am not
sure, but I think that if I had this kind of an instrument I could make
whatever I wished. There seems to be a charm about it. But I suppose it
is very difficult to get these little instruments, or other people would
have them. The people in this show were so anxious to buy the things the
man made that they kept him so busy he could not sit down all day long.
I bought many curious things in there and brought them home with me.

At the end of one of the streets some people were getting into a clumsy
canoe, upon a kind of shelf, and sliding down into the water.[54] They
seemed to enjoy it, but it looked too fierce for me. If one of these
canoes had gone out of its path the people would have been sure to get
hurt or killed.

There were some little brown people[55] at the Fair that United States
troops captured recently on some islands far away from here.

They did not wear much clothing, and I think that they should not have
been allowed to come to the Fair. But they themselves did not seem to
know any better. They had some little brass plates, and they tried to
play music with these, but I did not think it was music--it was only a
rattle. However, they danced to this noise and seemed to think they were
giving a fine show.

I do not know how true the report was, but I heard that the President
sent them to the Fair so that they could learn some manners, and when
they went home teach their people how to dress and how to behave.

I am glad I went to the Fair. I saw many interesting things and learned
much of the white people. They are a very kind and peaceful people.
During all the time I was at the Fair no one tried to harm me in any
way. Had this been among the Mexicans I am sure I should have been
compelled to defend myself often.

I wish all my people could have attended the Fair.[56]


[52] Turks.

[53] Ferris wheel.

[54] Shooting the Chute.

[55] Iggorrotes from the Philippines.

[56] Geronimo was also taken to both the Omaha and the Buffalo
Expositions, but during that period of his life he was sullen and took
no interest in things. The St. Louis Exposition was held after he had
adopted the Christian religion and had begun to try to understand our



In our primitive worship only our relations to Usen and the members of
our tribe were considered as appertaining to our religious
responsibilities. As to the future state, the teachings of our tribe
were not specific, that is, we had no definite idea of our relations and
surroundings in after life. We believed that there is a life after this
one, but no one ever told me as to what part of man lived after death. I
have seen many men die; I have seen many human bodies decayed, but I
have never seen that part which is called the spirit; I do not know what
it is; nor have I yet been able to understand that part of the Christian

We held that the discharge of one's duty would make his future life more
pleasant, but whether that future life was worse than this life or
better, we did not know, and no one was able to tell us. We hoped that
in the future life family and tribal relations would be resumed. In a
way we believed this, but we did not know it.

Once when living in San Carlos Reservation an Indian told me that while
lying unconscious on the battlefield he had actually been dead, and had
passed into the spirit land.

First he came to a mulberry tree growing out from a cave in the ground.
Before this cave a guard was stationed, but when he approached without
fear the guard let him pass. He descended into the cave, and a little
way back the path widened and terminated in a perpendicular rock many
hundreds of feet wide and equal in height. There was not much light, but
by peering directly beneath him he discovered a pile of sand reaching
from the depths below to within twenty feet of the top of the rock where
he stood. Holding to a bush, he swung off from the edge of the rock and
dropped onto the sand, sliding rapidly down its steep side into the
darkness. He landed in a narrow passage running due westward through a
caon which gradually grew lighter and lighter until he could see as
well as if it had been daylight; but there was no sun. Finally he came
to a section of this passage that was wider for a short distance, and
then closing abruptly continued in a narrow path; just where this
section narrowed two huge serpents were coiled, and rearing their heads,
hissed at him as he approached, but he showed no fear, and as soon as he
came close to them they withdrew quietly and let him pass. At the next
place, where the passage opened into a wider section, were two grizzly
bears prepared to attack him, but when he approached and spoke to them
they stood aside and he passed unharmed. He continued to follow the
narrow passage, and the third time it widened and two mountain lions
crouched in the way, but when he had approached them without fear and
had spoken to them they also withdrew. He again entered the narrow
passage. For some time he followed this, emerging into a fourth section
beyond which he could see nothing: the further walls of this section
were clashing together at regular intervals with tremendous sounds, but
when he approached them they stood apart until he had passed. After this
he seemed to be in a forest, and following the natural draws, which led
westward, soon came into a green valley where there were many Indians
camped and plenty of game. He said that he saw and recognized many whom
he had known in this life, and that he was sorry when he was brought
back to consciousness.

I told him if I knew this to be true I would not want to live another
day, but by some means, if by my own hands, I would die in order to
enjoy these pleasures. I myself have lain unconscious on the
battlefield, and while in that condition have had some strange thoughts
or experiences; but they are very dim and I cannot recall them well
enough to relate them. Many Indians believed this warrior, and I cannot
say that he did not tell the truth. I wish I knew that what he said is
beyond question true. But perhaps it is as well that we are not certain.

[Illustration: READY FOR CHURCH]

Since my life as a prisoner has begun I have heard the teachings of the
white man's religion, and in many respects believe it to be better than
the religion of my fathers. However, I have always prayed, and I believe
that the Almighty has always protected me.

Believing that in a wise way it is good to go to church, and that
associating with Christians would improve my character, I have adopted
the Christian religion.[57] I believe that the church has helped me
much during the short time I have been a member. I am not ashamed to be
a Christian, and I am glad to know that the President of the United
States is a Christian, for without the help of the Almighty I do not
think he could rightly judge in ruling so many people. I have advised
all of my people who are not Christians, to study that religion, because
it seems to me the best religion in enabling one to live right.


[57] Geronimo joined the Dutch Reformed church and was baptized in the
summer of 1903. He attends the services regularly at the Apache Mission,
Ft. Sill Military Reservation.



I am thankful that the President of the United States has given me
permission to tell my story. I hope that he and those in authority under
him will read my story and judge whether my people have been rightly

There is a great question between the Apaches and the Government. For
twenty years we have been held prisoners of war under a treaty which was
made with General Miles, on the part of the United States Government,
and myself as the representative of the Apaches. That treaty has not at
all times been properly observed by the Government, although at the
present time it is being more nearly fulfilled on their part than
heretofore. In the treaty with General Miles we agreed to go to a place
outside of Arizona and learn to live as the white people do. I think
that my people are now capable of living in accordance with the laws of
the United States, and we would, of course, like to have the liberty to
return to that land which is ours by divine right. We are reduced in
numbers, and having learned how to cultivate the soil would not require
so much ground as was formerly necessary. We do not ask all of the land
which the Almighty gave us in the beginning, but that we may have
sufficient lands there to cultivate. What we do not need we are glad for
the white men to cultivate.

We are now held on Comanche and Kiowa lands, which are not suited to our
needs--these lands and this climate are suited to the Indians who
originally inhabited this country, of course, but our people are
decreasing in numbers here, and will continue to decrease unless they
are allowed to return to their native land. Such a result is inevitable.

There is no climate or soil which, to my mind, is equal to that of
Arizona. We could have plenty of good cultivating land, plenty of grass,
plenty of timber and plenty of minerals in that land which the Almighty
created for the Apaches. It is my land, my home, my fathers' land, to
which I now ask to be allowed to return. I want to spend my last days
there, and be buried among those mountains. If this could be I might die
in peace, feeling that my people, placed in their native homes, would
increase in numbers, rather than diminish as at present, and that our
name would not become extinct.

I know that if my people were placed in that mountainous region lying
around the headwaters of the Gila River they would live in peace and act
according to the will of the President. They would be prosperous and
happy in tilling the soil and learning the civilization of the white
men, whom they now respect. Could I but see this accomplished, I think I
could forget all the wrongs that I have ever received, and die a
contented and happy old man. But we can do nothing in this matter
ourselves--we must wait until those in authority choose to act. If this
cannot be done during my lifetime--if I must die in bondage--I hope that
the remnant of the Apache tribe may, when I am gone, be granted the one
privilege which they request--to return to Arizona.

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